PROTESTERS are into their second full day at Holt Farm Oak Tree in a bid to prevent it being chopped down.

Holt Farm Oak Tree has been at the centre of discussion after the mature tree, based on Ashingdon Road in Rochford, is set to be chopped down on Monday.

This is after developer Bloor Homes won its battle to build 662 new homes nearby, and bosses say the tree needs to be removed for a new road layout.

However, campaigners have taken a step to prevent it being chopped down next week by building a platform and moving in to protect “their tree”.

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Four moved into the tree last Thursday night and still remain there today and are into their second full day.

On Friday, police visited the scene to put a cordon in place and fencing around the tree, despite protesters still being up it and around it.

Protesters have claimed they are not allowed to leave from inside the fencing, otherwise they will not be allowed to return.

From behind the fencing, Leanne Dalby, part of the group Save the Holt Farm Oak Tree, and the protest, told the Echo they will keep going until they are listened too.

She said: “It is our tree.

“We don’t feel it is any way necessary that it needs to be destroyed for the sake of profit.

“We want Bloor and the Council to have a rethink of the plans in place, so they can protect the community and help save the tree.

“We have obviously been campaigning for months, and just get the same response back so we have decided to make a last effort, to come here, and try and save our tree.

“And as you can hear by everyone beeping, everyone is in support of us, we don’t understand why we won’t be listened too.”

There is due to be a half-road closure on Ashingdon Road to allow for the works to go ahead between Monday, 24 and Wednesday 26.

In statement, Essex Police said: “We are assisting Bloor Homes as they respond to a small group of people protesting in Ashingdon Road, Rochford. 

“At this stage, no criminal offences have been reported to us or witnessed by our officers.”

A spokesman from Bloor Homes added: “Despite having all the relevant permissions to safely remove the tree, we are now faced by obstruction from protestors.

“We are speaking with Essex County Council and Rochford District Council as the tree is on Highways land, and through liaison with Essex Police will be considering our next steps.”