GIANT trees that lined the pathway leading to Pershore Abbey have been felled to make way for a new project.

The tall leylandii trees, which were believed to be about 50 years old, were cut down last week after it became clear their roots were beginning to damage the path way leading to the Abbey.

They were originally planted along the pathway where the Norman nave aisle would have been before it was demolished in 1540.

It is believed the trees were planted in the same approximate places to where the columns lining the nave would have once stood, and there was once leylandii trees on either side of the path.

But after becoming over grown and damaging a decision was made to fell the remaining four trees.

Judy Dale, a church warden at Pershore Abbey said: "It is quite likely when they were planted about 50 years ago they represented the columns of the nave.

"Over the years they have gradually gone. There were just four left, which had grown very big and wide and the roots were getting underneath the nave path. They had outgrown their column appearance."

It was at this time, when work has also been completed to change the steps to a ramp for wheelchairs that it was decided to request the trees be cut down.

Dr Dale added: "With the planning and the fact the Abbey is looking to work with Wychavon District Council, which owns that land, to improve that part of the approach to the Abbey. We will be doing something quite nice there but it is in the very early stages at the moment."

A spokesman for Wychavon District Council said they felled the tress in response to a request from the Abbey.