Preparation work began today ahead of new flood defences for Morpeth.
The work began with the removal of nine historic oak trees. The Collingwood Oaks were planted in 2005 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, in which Morpeth's Lord Collingwood led a fleet alongside Nelson.
The trees will be replanted in five local schools.
13 other mature trees will be taken down at High Stanners to allow the building of new flood bank and defence walls to protect local properties.
Building work is due to start in late April.
When it's finished the Morpeth flood scheme will protect more than a thousand homes and businesses from floods like those in 2008, which caused widespread flooding in the town. The £21million scheme is being funded by the Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council.
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The walls had been closed to the public at the weekend amid fears of a collapse.