A WELL-LOVED tree saved from facing the axe 15 years ago has been pulled down.

‘Severe decay’ has led to a Scots pine on Haddington’s Riverside Drive being cut down.

A plaque at the site details the historic significance of the tree.

It reads: “Now old Bob Cockburn worked at the sawmill, and he was given the contract to clear all the trees from the development you’re standing in now.

“I remember all the trees being here, but Bob cleared them, until it came to this one – the big tree.

“Bob dug his heels in and he refused point blank to cut down the big tree.

“'No way,” he said, “that’s a marker, and that’s heritage’”.

“And so he never did cut it down and it’s a beautiful tree yet.

“It’s a sanctuary.

“It was Bob who saved this tree.”

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council confirmed the work was taking place this morning (Wednesday).

She added: "A replacement Scots pine planted a couple of years ago is growing well."