Felling of century-old banyan tree outrages local conservation group

PHUKET: The felling of a more than 100-year-old banyan tree has outraged a local Phuket conservation group, with members vowing to find the culprits behind the act.

Members of the Big Tree Club – a group of local engineers and architects who fight against the felling of old trees in Phuket – contacted the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) and the Phuket City Municipality to find out who had been ordered to cut down the tree, which was once standing beside the OrBorJor school on Chao Fa West Road.

“Both offices told us that they had not ordered anyone to cut down the tree,” said Anawut Praphanwong, secretary of the Big Tree Club.

“We came to see this tree quite frequently to help take care of it. However, on February 3, we found out that the tree had been mostly cut down, with only the bottom part of it left. We were very disappointed.

“We heard from school security that six men had come with equipment and cut the tree down.”

Mr Anawut said that the club is committed to finding out who cut down the tree.

“We need to help each other take care of nature and our trees. Government offices, private sectors and local people should all work together and keep an eye on our environment,” he said.

— Thawit Bilabdullar

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