A school next to the spot where one of Sutton's oldest trees was all-but cut down yesterday said it wanted it to stay.

Tree surgeons drastically cut back a towering horse chestnut outside Homefield Preparatory School in Western Road, Sutton, yesterday.

Sutton Council ordered the work because the tree was decaying and there was a risk of branches falling off.

Now Homefield Prep has said it is disappointed to see the loss of the tree.

A spokesman said: "The council demanded that the tree be cut down. They said it was to do with lines of sight.

"We wanted the tree to stay but the council said it had to go. There is some of it left so hopefully it will grow back."

The tree surgeons arrived to start the work yesterday.

Many neighbours have spoken of their sadness at seeing the tree, which is over 100 years old, being chopped down.

The council has promised to replace the tree with a new one in the autumn or winter.