It's ten years ago this week since an unexpected object became the focus of campaigners' bid to save a historic tree.

Campaigners who took a stand against the felling of a tree for planned road works have turned their attention to a new CCTV pole nearby.

The group protested when it was announced that a Corsican pine in Chigwell Lane, Debden, would have to go to make way for plans to extend the junction with Border’s Lane as part of the Langston Road retail park plans.

They have now decorated a recently erected CCTV pole, which is also close to where the junction would need to be widened, with leaves to show it may suffer the same fate as the tree.

As well as the foliage, they have tied a sign to the pole reading: “Everlasting replacement pine tree, compliments of Epping Forest District Council. Trust us with trees.”

Protester Geoff Boughton, 67, of Colson Road, Debden, said: “We’re showing that if the tree’s chopped down, this will have to go.

“It’s about 15 metres from the tree, right by the roundabout.

“(The council) have spent a small fortune – they must’ve done – on that part of the CCTV system.

“If they go ahead with this road widening, it’s just going to be moved and it may not be a suitable place.”

The pine destined for the chop is thought to have been planted by William Whitaker Maitland, the lord of the manor of Loughton during Queen Victoria’s reign.

He bought the rights to Epping Forest before his grandson John famously started fencing it off, leading to the 1878 Epping Forest Act.

Initial plans for the retail park were agreed on by district councillors in February.

These include replacing the mini roundabout at the junction with Chigwell Lane and The Broadway with traffic lights, requiring the road to be widened.

After the group’s initial protest in March, a spokeswoman said the tree was in the way of “necessary and essential enhancement of the highway” and the road works could not be shifted.

A district council spokeswoman said: “We can see why the question has been asked, but at the time the position of the CCTV was approved, there had not been a decision on Langston Road.

“At that stage it would have cost money to review the siting of the cctv when we were not entitled to assume that the retail park would be granted consent.

“There is still no detailed planning permission on Langston Road and it is likely to be some time before any works to the area affecting the CCTV pole would begin.”