TWO cherry trees are set to be felled as part of a development of a new toilet and tea-making area at a rural church that dates back to the 15th century. 

Precautions will also have to be taken during the work at St Tysoi’s Church, at Llansoy near Usk, to protect three yew trees which are thought to be 400 years old. 

The new toilets and tea-making area are to be developed at the base of the existing church tower. A new water supply and foul drain, as well as access, will be required. 

The plans also include a new footpath to the tower and ‘estate style railings’ through the church grounds. 

It has notified Monmouthshire County Council of the planned work in a tree protection area and outlined measures that will be put in place to protect the yews on the western boundary wall of the church as it is possible the works will be within their root protection area. 

Precautions include an arboricultural watching brief and the use of hand digging for the installation of the water main and foul drain, and ‘no dig’ construction techniques should be used to create the new path. 

The estate handrails will curve around tree trunks and post holders should also be hand dug and the rebuilding of a stone boundary wall should be on the same footings to avoid new ground works. 

Protective barriers will also have to be placed around the trees and signs displayed to make workers aware they are in a tree protection area. 

Monmouthshire County Council will have to give its approval for the measures to protect the trees. 

St Tysoi’s Church is a 15th century red sandstone church constructed in the perpendicular style.