Campaigners are fighting to stop a council from cutting down two "beautiful" oak trees.

Hertsmere Borough Council wants to fell two trees in Ely Gardens, Borehamwood, claiming the trees are causing damage to a nearby property.

Neighbours have rallied to protest against the decision and at the beginning of this month, around 50 people staged a protest calling for the plans to cut the trees to be scrapped.

Families and residents gathered to listen to speeches about why the trees were so important to the neighbourhood, with some left in tears.

The two trees have since been adorned with red ribbon and drawings of hearts with messages such as 'Save the Trees'.

There were once six oak trees in Ely Gardens, with the most recent felling last year.

Borehamwood Times:

The two trees (middle and right) in Ely Gardens which Hertsmere Borough Council claims need cutting down

Glyn Lantaff, who is one of the leaders of the Ely Gardens tree campaign, said: "We were assured that when the council cut down a tree last year, it was a mistake, and that the other trees were safe.

"Now the trees are going to be removed as they are being blamed for subsidence. We have not been given any evidence of this. If the trees are removed and the problem is not resolved, then two 100-year-old plus trees will be gone forever."

Dan Ozarow, chairman of the Hertsmere Labour party, joined the protest.

Mr Ozarow, who lives in Elstree, said: "We stand in solidarity with the residents. Their passion and energy in defending these trees and their community is admirable.

"For the council to threaten to fell these beautiful oak trees is absolute madness. The whole process is shrouded in secrecy. Residents have been refused the right to be able to see any surveys or reports.

"We demand an immediate suspension of any plans to cut the trees down."

A council spokesperson said: "Unfortunately, we have to remove two oak trees in Ely Gardens, due to the subsidence damage being caused by their roots.

"We’ve investigated other alternatives to felling the trees, including installing a root barrier and heavy pruning to reduce water extraction, but unfortunately these works are unlikely to be effective.

"Our trees officer has evaluated the situation over the last year, including level and crack width monitoring, soil samples, boreholes and root samples, to confirm vegetation related subsidence, and it has been demonstrated that the oak trees are the likely cause.

"To mitigate the loss of the two trees and to ensure tree cover for future generations, we’ve asked residents to choose from three low water demand varieties to be planted as replacements.

"We will not remove the trees until winter to ensure no nesting birds are affected."

A petition to save the two trees has reached nearly 400 signatures.