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Mum Faces Court If She Cuts Down Walnut Tree Despite Daughter's Potentially Fatal Allergy

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Mum Faces Court If She Cuts Down Walnut Tree Despite Daughter's Potentially Fatal Allergy

A mum is concerned about ending up in court if she trims back a walnut tree that overlooks her property, even though her young daughter has a severe nut allergy.

The huge tree hangs over Chantal Beck's back garden, and while she's described the tree as 'wonderful', she wants to cut it back so her daughter Beau - who has a potentially fatal allergy - can play outside.

However, the mum-of-two would face action from the council if she were to defy the tree protection order that they have sought.

The council say that many people have complained about Beck's plans to trim the tree back, and added that cutting back to the extent she wants could damage the health of the tree.

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Some residents of Norfolk village Trowse have raised concerns that the truncation of the tree could damage the area's 'rural character', but Ms Beck is worried about her daughter choking to death.

Here's the tree in question. Credit: Splash News
Here's the tree in question. Credit: Splash News

Beau has already had one anaphylactic shock while out in the garden in 2019.

Beck explained: "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."

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Every year, the tree creates a crop of walnuts, many of which shed into Beck's garden.

It's on someone else's property, which is a conservation area, meaning that Beck and her two daughters have to go into the garden and collect buckets of walnuts so they can play safely.

She added: "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."

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The mum has described the tree as a 'wonderful part of nature', but just wants to stop the potential problems for her daughter.

Beau collecting walnuts from the garden. Credit: Splash News
Beau collecting walnuts from the garden. Credit: Splash News

She was permitted to reduce the tree by 13 feet, but that consent has since expired. This time, she wants it to be cut back by 16 feet in height and the branch spread from 50 feet to 20 feet.

South Norfolk Council refused that request, citing 'strong feeling and response we have received'.

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Eleven people objected to the chopping back of the tree, but 17 people wrote in support of Beck's proposal, with one writing: "Although it will be upsetting from a visual perspective for some local residents, when you consider the very dangerous health implications this could have on a small child, I can't see how anyone can object to this."

Lisa Neal, the local councillor, said that she had contacted Chantal to attempt to broker a 'compromise to help on both sides'.

The Conservative councillor said: "On one side you have Chantal's daughter with the health implications, on the other people feel it is a lovely tree and don't want to have too much cut off it because that could damage or kill the tree."

Featured Image Credit: Splash News

Topics: UK News, England, Weird, Politics, Health

Tom Wood
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