An environmental group staged a dramatic protest against "baseless" fellings outside a national insurance industry conference.

Members of Haringey Tree Protectors dressed up as both condemned trees and as the blank-faced insurers who chop them down 

The stunt took place outside the annual conference of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) at the QEII centre in Westminster yesterday (February 27).

At least two members of the group dressed in green as condemned trees, with others wearing sinister blank masks, black clothing and high-vis vests with different insurance companies’ logos wielded fake chainsaws and axes.

Performance activist troupe Red Rebels held up a sign that read: “Stop home insurers felling trees”.

It comes amid an ongoing court battle over the status of a 120-year-old plane tree in Stroud Green.

The group has supported one householder who has challenged attempts by two home insurance companies to have the tree felled after they blamed it for subsidence at two homes in Oakfield Road.

The group has argued that insurance companies often blame trees for subsidence, calling for councils to fell them, to avoid paying for more costly underpinning work.

Gio Iozzi, chair of Haringey Tree Protectors, said: “Insurers claim that they want a climate-resistant future, yet they’re forcing councils to fell healthy trees often for baseless reasons.

“Corporate greed means insurers are wriggling out of paying for work on houses – they know councils are too poor to defend every tree.”

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said: “We would be happy to engage with this group, if they would like to detail their concerns directly to us.”