A 300-year-old oak tree in Surrey has been made a 'Listed Building' by Council chiefs, who say that the tree, known as The Oak, is not responsible for local subsidence.
Residents living near the giant oak in Weybridge had complained that their homes were at risk from the tree and its roots, but the Council denied this, saying that, in any case, the tree was there before they were.
One angry householder, Mavis Dimple, 87, told me:
"I got roots in my living room. I keep tripping over them."
Listed Building status means that the tree cannot be demolished, extended or altered without special permission from the local planning authority. Sadly for children, it also means that it may not be climbed or have its bark etched by lovers or vandals.
David Munro of Surrey County Council said:
"The tree brings an awful lot of pleasure to an awful lot of people. Just look at the branches and the leaves. They're wonderful!"
The Oak has been valued at more than £500,000 and last night, fallen leaves that had been collected by locals were fetching £200 per kilo on eBay.