A primary school's move to chop down five protected trees has led to anger among parents, despite birds nesting in them and pooing on their children's play equipment.

Gordon Primary in Eltham, south east London, is planning to fell five trees which are all healthy and 120 years old after droppings from pigeons began covering apparatus in the school playground.

Teachers at the school have blamed a 'higher rate of sickness and absences' among both pupils and staff on the poo which continues to fall from the three lime trees and two London planes and onto equipment.

The primary school has also argued that some windows on the premises can no longer be opened thanks to the extensive build-up of droppings.

It is now seeking permission from Greenwich Council to axe the trees 'as a last resort' on the grounds of health and safety, The Sun reports.

But parents have angrily asked the school why the trees, which have grown next to the reception playground since the school was built in 1904, now need to be felled, with close to 500 signing a petition to save them.

One wrote: 'Reception children catch every bug going when they start school. They are not made more ill by bird poo.'

Meanwhile, Cass Farrar said that the plans did not make any sense and that the trees contrasted with the concrete surroundings of south east London.

Local Labour MP Clive Efford said: 'The felling of healthy, mature trees is an extreme solution and should only be something considered when all other avenues have been exhausted.'

In a letter to parents, assistant head Hannah Cuesta wrote: 'For the sake of our children's health . . . the only course of action left is to remove five of the 12 trees along our boundary.' 

She added that 'seven impressively tall trees' would remain.

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2024-06-25T00:15:50Z dg43tfdfdgfd