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Game of Thrones: Number of Dark Hedges Trees May Face the Axe

Up to 11 trees at a Northern Ireland beauty spot made famous by fantasy drama Game of Thrones may have to be cut down.

The Dark Hedges, a tunnel of beech trees near Armoy, County Antrim, became a popular tourist attraction after featuring in the series.

But a report has found that a majority of the trees are in a poor state and one is dead.

There is now a health and safety risk to visitors, a campaigner has said.

The report, commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure and experts at Tree Safety, found that 11 trees should be removed, the Coleraine Chronicle has reported.

However, because six are subject to protection orders, the consent of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is needed.

The council is due to consider the issue later on Wednesday.

The trees were planted to line the Bregagh Road to Gracehill House, which was built around 1775.

Originally, there were about 150 trees, but only about 80 remain.

Many of the trees are considered past maturity, meaning branch breakages are common.

Several have been brought down by strong winds during storms in recent years.

The trees have become a popular tourist attraction since the road was used as a filming location in the HBO series Game of Thrones.

But the Save the Dark Hedges campaign group has raised concerns that the increased traffic and footfall at the site has accelerated damage to the trees.

“If they don’t do something over these trees, someone is going to be killed, because of the state they’re in,” Rob McCallion, from the campaign group, said.

DUP councillor, and member of the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust, Mervyn Storey agreed with the concerns laid out in the report.

He said: “I, and no one else, wants to see the beginning of the end of what is known as the Dark Hedges.

“There was no money put in to do something like an aggressive tree planting scheme, but my feeling is it’s too late for that.”

Source : BBC