A COMMUNITY interest company from Ellesmere that campaigns for the preservation of trees has travelled to the House of Lords to rally support.

Treespect aims to raise awareness of the felling of old yew trees all around the country and its members visited London on Wednesday for a meeting with politician and member of the Green Party, Baroness Jenny Jones.

Its founding director, Rob McBride, who is also known as The Tree Hunter, started the not-for-profit company in May 2017, spending his own money to travel the country and beyond, educating people about ancient yew trees and also raising awareness of their preservation.

He said: “In 2011 there was a very old yew tree felled in Shropshire, it was more than 2,000 years old and in March this year, a 200-year-old tree was cut down in the grounds of Quinta Evangelical Church.

“There’s no protection for trees – they deserve ‘Treespect’. he UK is behind a lot of other countries when it comes to tree preservation.

“You have listed buildings but there is no legal protection for the trees.”

A petition named ‘Save Britain’s Ancient Yew Trees Before We Lose Any More’, which is supported by Treespect, has now achieved more than 222,000 signatures and calls for the same measures to be put in place to protect the country’s oldest trees, some being more than 2,000-years-old.

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson is someone who backs the ethos of the group and as well as visiting the House of Lords to show support.

Healso took to Twitter to say: “I strongly support the campaign for the legal protection of ancient yews, seeking to protect the 150-plus ancient yew trees over 2,000 years old in the UK– the largest collection anywhere in the world – with robust legal measures similar to those for protected ancient monuments.”

Rob added: “There’s a bus stop and bench in London from the 1960s – it’s crazy. So why nothing for trees? Now is the time to do something.

“More people are becoming environmentally aware, they’re starting to realise we’re ruining the planet – we’ve got to start making a change today though.”

Visit www.treehunter.co.uk or join in by using #treesinneed on social media.