Cooks Hill residents farewell more 'iconic' fig trees

Goodbye: Some of the Cooks Hill residents who gathered to say farewell to the Council Street fig trees on Tuesday evening.
Goodbye: Some of the Cooks Hill residents who gathered to say farewell to the Council Street fig trees on Tuesday evening.

A group of Cooks Hill residents aren’t demanding all the historic fig trees lining their neighbourhood be spared, but they would have liked two or three to be left for posterity.

It’s quite an emotional time for the people who live here.

Phil McKnight, Council Street resident.

The Council Street residents gathered on Tuesday to farewell the “iconic” and “historic” trees, before work begins to fell them on Wednesday.

Phil McKnight told the Newcastle Herald that council had consulted with the residents over major upgrades to Council Street for about two years.

But he said the trees were part of a broader concern about planned changes to the street, which intersects Darby Street – one of the city’s busiest shopping and dining precincts.

Mr McKnight, who was involved in the fight to save the Laman Street figs a few years ago, said residents understood work needed to take place.

He said Tuesday’s gathering wasn’t a “heaving protest” but a chance for people to say goodbye to the trees – which had attracted some to move to the street in the first place.

“They do cause problems but we wanted two or three to remain,” Mr McKnight said.

He said many would miss the look. “It’s quite an emotional time for the people who live here.”

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