CAMPAIGNERS made their voices heard once more as the battle to save a beloved 150-year-old tree facing the axe continues.

Members of the Southend Tree Action Group have been out marching in the High Street in Southend’s city centre today.

The “Save Chester Festival”, named after the 150-year-old London plane tree in Chichester Road.

It began under the railway bridge in Southend High Street this afternoon before moving to the site of the tree.

Organiser and Shoebury resident, Tim Fransen, previously told the Echo he hopes the protest will raise awareness of the importance of the tree.

Mr Fransen also hopes the event will also highlight a motion put forward by councillor’s Tricia Cowdrey and Richard Longstaff which would see the right-hand turn from Chichester Road removed and the pavement widened.

A spokesman for the Southend Tree Action Group said the Chester festival was a “great success”.

They continued: “Engaging with community spirit the 'have your say' tree leaves will be sent to the council along with a petition for the next motion which councillor Richard Longstaff from the Green party gave an update on.

“People danced to music and speakers gave talks on climate change, activism, environmental law, and the incredible XR drummers came along in support.”

A GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for legal advice and potential action against the council has also been launched, which has raised more than £600 to date.

The tree is considered a “health and safety risk” as it hangs over the street and takes up a large amount of the pavement.

“Chester” was set to be removed as part of plans to redevelop the former Churchill’s Diner site and protesters have submitted a tree protection order to Southend Council.

The treasured 150-year-old tree was given a stay of execution after the council delayed a decision on its future earlier this month.

The council deferred the decision to a later meeting, promising Chester would be unharmed until analysis of the impact of the tree on health and safety is performed.