Dec 21 2012 By Sam Yarwood
A tree has been sacrificed to make way for the rehomed war memorial in Coronation Park
A TREE planted as part of Ormskirk’s Millennium celebrations has been chopped down after just 12 years because it was "too expensive" to relocate.
The oak was cut down by West Lancashire Borough Council to make way for the war memorial which was rehomed in Coronation Park earlier this year.
A council spokesperson said: "During the relocation works of the war memorial, one oak tree did have to be removed from the site. "Whilst the loss of this tree is unfortunate we felt it was very important to provide the right location and design for the memorial which recognises servicemen and woman who have lost their lives in the service of their country.
"The cost of cutting down the tree and removing its roots was £450. "This was funded by the trustees of the Comrades as part of the agreement to move the war memorial.
"Relocating the tree would have cost £3,000 and £5,000, which was too expensive."
West Lancashire Council said that they recognise that the chopped tree was part of a Millennium tree planting project in the town and that they had planted another tree in an alternative location to compensate for this.
They added: "In the recent past, additional trees have been planted in the park including several on the path around the bandstand, and recently several fruit trees were planted in the wildflower area on Churchfields."
The war memorial had stood at the site of the former Comrades Club on Southport Road for 90 years.
It had to be moved to a new home after the club closed and the land was sold for development.
West Lancashire Council said that they worked closely with the club’s trustees to decide on a new home for the monument and decided on the Coronation Park site as it allows better access for ceremonies and individuals to pay their respects.
The memorial can now be found midway between the two main entrances off Park Road.
Military historian Richard Houghton campaigns to ensure that monuments such as the one in Coronation Park are looked after.
He said: "The memorial represents the 500/600 dead men from Ormskirk and district.
"The consequence of one tree being removed in order to make way for a memorial that acknowledges the sacrifices that these dead men made are negligible."