Concern has been raised for the fate of a tree that has stood in Jamestown for two centuries.
Nick Thorpe, a champion of conservation on St Helena, has now complained that trees have no legal protection on the island.
A public notice has advised that pruning works would be taking place on trees in the lower part of the Duke of Edinburgh playground – a favoured haunt of fairy terns – on 5 and 6 November 2012.
But the notice warns that its condition might mean more severe action – and “could result in the removal of the tree”.
Nick said: “These trees were planted by Governor Dallas to beautify and shade Jamestown. He didn’t foresee that two hundred years later, the St Helena Government would regard them as a menace rather than an asset.
“There are no tree preservation orders on St Helena .The power to make them is a provision in the new Planning Ordinance. It will mean that any proposal to lop, top or fell [a protected tree] will be the subject of a development application.”
St Helena Government says it acts on advice from experts at Kew Gardens in London.