British mother risks going to court for wanting to trim a walnut tree to protect her daughter who’s allergic to it

·2-min read
A British mother risked being hauled to court if she trims a century-old walnut tree to protect her allergic daughter. — AFP pic
A British mother risked being hauled to court if she trims a century-old walnut tree to protect her allergic daughter. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — A British woman risked being hauled to court if she trims a century-old walnut tree that poses danger to her six-year-old daughter who is allergic to it.

Daily Mail reported that Chantal Beck wanted to trim branches of the 16.8 metres tree to protect her daughter Beau, who has a deadly nut allergy.

The South Norfolk Council, however, is seeking to impose a tree preservation order instead.

The council has cited concerns over damage to the tree’s health and the objections of a dozen villagers, one of whom said lopping the tree would damage the village’s “rural character’.

According to the portal, the tree sits on a neighbour’s land at her back garden, which is part of a conservation area.

The 41-year-old Beck said Beau had an anaphylactic shock in the garden of their home in Trowse, Norfolk, in 2019.

“She had swollen ears, swollen lips and was clutching her throat. Then she had hives on her body. The reaction isn’t just itchy skin, it is anaphylactic.”

“It didn’t occur to me that [Beau] might have a reaction, because she couldn’t crack a walnut open so was unlikely to eat one.

“But they mulch, and when the girls play in the garden, it gets on her fingers and hands and then on her face and before you know it it’s in her system.”

Beck said she did not want the tree to be felled as it is a ‘wonderful part of nature’ and only wanted to reduce the risk of harm to Beau.

Incidentally, Beck had in 2018 won permission to reduce the size of the tree by four metres, but the consent had since expired.

She is now asking the council for permission again to cut the height by 4.9 metres and the spread of branches from 15.24 metres to 6.1 metres.

The council had said “some pruning work would be acceptable” but a conservation officer said the extent of work proposed by Beck would lead to “disease and decay”.

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