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Tree Slayers Case Moved To The Crown Court......

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ToraToraTora | 09:20 Thu 16th May 2024 | News
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They might not

Assuming they have the guilty parties, seems the perpetrators must've been planning on doing so. Can't go around destroying important stuff in a civilised country and expect to stay free (well unless it's toppling public statues into the water and getting a corrupt jury to let you off, that is).

so we can expect those who tried to damage the magna carta to get the same treatment ?

One pleaded 'not guilty', so the prosecution will have to prove, without doubt that it was him, which might not be so easy.

If it was them, I hope they get long sentences.

Ineffable stupidity! 

They have pleaded not guilty.

Tens of thousands of trees are felled every year for the flimsiest reasons. This tree was beloved by many, but did it have any protected status? More so than the hundreds that go for a new road or rail line?

Trying, or appearing to, is a lesser offence that succeeding.

Still wasn't the perpetrators' tree to fell. They seem unlikely to own the land it was on, or to have obtained council permission.

Attempted to damage will have a much lighter sentence than irreversibly destroying

Around 50 ancient woodlands containing many thousands of trees were destoyed for HS2. Should the Transport Minister be prosecuted too ?

No, Gromit.  They had permission.

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gromit, yes it's just a tree, but it was a special tree to millions around the world, in an iconic position. It was wanton unecessary vandalism. What kind of vacant mind would go to the trouble of cutting it down? ...and why? Anyone know why? Was it just because they wanted to cause distress to millions? I can't believe you cannot see that this was an important tree.

Don't waste your breath TTT, some people produce inanities like plum trees produce plums.

"I bet these morons never thought they'd end up in the slammer."

And still they may not. There is firstly the minor inconvenience of proving them guilty. After that there is the sentence to be considered.

But that aside, I have to say I find this a litttle puzzling. Sentencing for Crminal Damage (and hence the decision to hear the trial in the Magistrates' Court or the Crown Court) is influenced by the value of the damage caused. I find that the value placed on the tree (£622,191) to be manifestly excessive. It is said to have been calculated using the "Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT)" tool used by local authorities to work out the level of compensation needed to replace a tree. The prosecutor said factors involved in the calculation involved the size of the tree, its type and the number of people who had access to it. Yes, this wasa much-loved tree. But £622k?

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Yes I did wonder about the value of the tree but if it gets these two lowlives into one of His Majesty's flowery dells then great.

There is a link here to the CAVAT calculator if you want see what all is taken into account.

The 'value' of the tree suggests the case is being held in a parallel universe.

NJ //Yes, this was a much-loved tree. But £622k?//

I don't think so at all. First find a tree as close as possible to replicate the original. Purchase it from its present owner.

Removing it from the earth with the root system intact and the transportation - the mind boggles!

Removing the present root system without damaging the wall and then re-planting, plus giving some kind of guarantee that the operation will be a success.

The cost of plant-hire, labour and insurance would be massive.

Sounds like a reasonable price to me.

"There is a link here to the CAVAT calculator if you want see what all is taken into account."

Thanks, Corby. That's very interesting.

I've found an article from "The Arbicultural Journal" which explains a little about CAVAT:

In its introduction it says this:

"Valuing amenity trees is important for calculating loss of amenity and replacement value following wilful or negligent damage, and for several aspects of urban forest management: planning, budget setting and decision-making.

CAVAT includes two methods: the Full Method, which is used to provide a compensation replacement value for single trees on a like-for-like basis; and the Quick Method, which is used principally to determine the value of a population of trees for asset management purposes,..."

I have highlighted "urban forest management" because looking at the guidance, it is clear that the principle purpose of CAVAT is to place a value on tress in an urban environment. Most of the text refers to urban situations and almost all of the photographs are of trees in towns and cities. It appears to me, therefore, to be primarily an accounting tool to calculate the capital asset value of a local authority's tree stock. It no doubt helps them balance the books. Although the guide also says it can be used to calculate the replacement value of a single tree on a like-for-like basis, in practice that is unlikely to be done for a mature tree. More likely a young tree will be planted in place of a life-expired older tree. SO we come to this:

"I don't think so at all. First find a tree as close as possible to replicate the original. Purchase it from its present owner.

Removing it from the earth with the root system intact and the transportation - the mind boggles!"

That clearly is never likely to be done for a 150 year old tree. Firstly an available replacement is unlikely to be sourced and secondly, as you mention, the logistics (never mind the cost) of uprooting a similar specimen, transporting it and replanting it is practically impossible.

This was a 150 year old tree in isolation in teh middle of an open landscape. There are no plans to replace it because it is impractical to do so. So I believe it is most unfair to put a replacement value on the tree and use that as a basis for a criminal charge when the replacement is most unlikely to take place. It may well be that a court arrives at a considerable "amenity value" that has been lost, but it should be bamboozled by he use of an accountancy tool which is designed principally to value local authority assets.

I wonder how many folk knew about the tree prior to its being cut down?

My mate Paddy says at least t'ree  TCL

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