Tree Cutting

They cut a tree down yesterday, just round the corner, near Ifield Station. It was a big old tree, I think it was an oak. There are lots of old oak trees around here, left over from the ancient Sussex oak forests (Crawley means clearing in a crows wood).  The tree had definitely been here longer than the houses, and probably longer than the station itself, which opened in 1907. It was first called Lyons Crossing Halt, after Lyons Farm which was then next to the railway line. It was renamed Ifield Halt later that year, and is now just plain boring Ifield Station. I looked on  and there were trees there by the station in 1879, maybe they were the same ones. Well, there is now one less, after men in orange jackets cut it down yesterday. Chain saws screamed. Great boughs and branches were lowered down, careful to avoid the commuter cars left there, despite the no parking signs. Chippers spewed wood chips. And then the rest was cut down, chopped up and taken away. They’ve also given one of the other old trees a good haircut, but at least it’s still standing. There must have been a good reason to cut it down, but it still seems a shame. Now there’s a big hole in the skyline, and one more bit of history is gone.

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