Workmen have begun to fell one the last remaining Lombardy poplar trees in Gostrey Meadow, Farnham.

The tree, which used to be part of an avenue of poplars planted on the meadow's border with Union Road, is thought to be one of Farnham's tallest tress.

However, Farnham Town Council-commissioned tests have found it to be 'over-mature' and at risk of collapse, posing a risk to the public.

Felling works will continue until around 4pm on Thursday, January 11, with one lane of Union Road closed and the meadow's playground also shut to the public.

It is the last remaining Lombardy in the meadow after a previous specimen was felled in 2016.

Farnham Town Council agreed it should be felled in November after resistograph tests showed it to be over mature and failing, and could “fall at any time”, posing a risk to neighbouring properties.

Another Lombardy poplar in Haren Garden, on the opposite site of South Street, is also to be felled for the same reason at a date to be confirmed.

Councillor Mat Brown, the town council's lead member for environment, said: “Lombardy poplars are well known for decaying from the middle of the tree outwards.

"It is a shame that that the tree has to be removed but safety is our priority and has to come first.”

As part of an ongoing management programme of Farnham’s green spaces, over the past two years, Farnham Town Council has planted nearly 400 trees.

This includes the Jubilee Avenue along Farnham Riverside to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

A replacement tree will be planted near the site of the Lombardy poplar.