"I'm not budging" says ethics manager Anna Laycock beneath threatened 250-year-old tree on new Aldi store site.

Staff at the Ecology Building Society, Silsden have vowed to keep constant vigil beneath a massive lime tree which borders their property after contractors began hacking at its lower boughs this morning.

They are desperately trying to persuade Aldi to stay the axe during ground clearance work prior to building on the Keighley Road site.

"Workman began cutting at it after bosses told them to start bringing it down.

"But we've had no contact from Aldi so far about the unnecessary destruction of this wonderful tree which is home to so many living things" said Ms Laycock sitting beneath its branches.

"We will take turns to stay here to try and save it while we negotiate," she said.