Armed with a cane, a chair and a quilt, Virginia Hanley is ready to fight.
The 70-year-old started a sit-in protest to save a tall willow from being cut down.
Since 2007, he has lived in a nearby bungalow in Sheppey, Kent.
A 61-year-old tree is to be cut down due to settling on the property at ul.
Virginia was distraught when she saw the workers approaching the tree and hurried to protest.
She said: “I went outside and asked them what they were doing.
“They explained that they were taking it down with the approval of Swale Borough Council (SBC) and that it would be gone in four hours.
I responded by saying, “Oh, so I have four hours to try and work this out?” and he said, “oh no, I’m starting now.”
“So I went in, grabbed a chair, grabbed a quilt, grabbed a cane, wrapped myself in a shawl and coat and went out and sat under the tree.”
The act of defiance was no easy feat as the mother-of-two became disabled after a road accident in 1984.
At the time, she had to deal with nerve damage, but it has now turned into nerve failure, meaning she can’t walk long distances.
She added: “While I was under the tree, the staff told me they couldn’t wait while I was there because it was costing them money.
“So they left and promised me they wouldn’t come back. But after 15 minutes they were there.
“I told them I wasn’t going anywhere and that I wanted to know why that tree was falling.”
However, not everyone agreed with her protest. Virgina’s neighbor, who has lived in his house for 25 years, is glad the tree is gone.
A local who wished to remain anonymous said: “My porch is collapsing and my insurance company, Direct Line, dug up my front yard to confirm that this tree is causing subsidence.”
“I don’t know what all this nonsense is about when he’s trying to save a tree.
“I don’t understand why he’s worried about a poxy tree, it’s like whipping a dead horse.
“I called the council and they told me over the phone that the tree is on their property and she has no right to sit under their trees.”
At the moment, the old willow was still standing.
Virginia added: “There are three beautiful trees near my house that make living here a pleasure.
“They make it look nice and the trees are essential, vital to our well-being.
“I didn’t like it when they came to cut it down and I always said if they tried to take down that tree I would sit under it.”
“I have to do what I promised I would do because it’s the right thing to do.”
However, the future of the tree does not look promising. A spokesman for Swale City Council confirmed that the willow tree must be cleared despite protests.
They said: “Unfortunately, due to the subsidence of the property nearby, we had to make the decision to cut down this tree.
“This is not a decision we made lightly and only after extensive research into the issue, including root analysis reports that highlighted the tree’s impact on the property.
“In these situations, we aim to replace felled trees where feasible and will review the site for suitability once the work is completed.
“We know that people value trees and they are an important part of our work to solve the climate and ecological crisis, which is why we planted over 14,000 trees across the municipality this season alone.”
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