A campaign to save a willow tree has been given a boost after a senior councillor confirmed avenues are being explored that could prevent its felling.

Cllr Varsha Parmar told Harrow Council’s cabinet that officers were looking at all possibilities with regards to the tree in Headstone Manor Park.

She said they are “working very hard to preserve it” and that no final decision will be taken until at least January.

But she warned she “can’t guarantee” the tree will be saved as the council still intends to carry out improvement works at the park.

It came after Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Conservatives, questioned the current administration’s commitment to protecting plant life in the borough.

Cllr Parmar assured him that the council “cherishes” its parks and green spaces and that they form an important part of supporting the borough’s environment.

The council planned to cut down the willow tree as part of a £2 million redevelopment of Headstone Manor Park.

This will include more play equipment and furniture in the park, as well as new footpaths, bridges and signs.

The council will also use the money to revamp the historic orchard and restore the watercourses, including Yeading Brook.

It explained that a key part of the scheme involves rerouting Yeading Brook to form a new picnic area and a ‘beach’ for visitors to paddle in.

According to the council it is impossible to curve the brook around the tree and, once the ground has been levelled, it will be too dangerous to keep it standing.

It added that, at this stage, it would need to follow through on its plans to ensure it did not jeopardise essential funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Campaigners have urged the council to do all it can to save the tree, launched a petition and reported the situation to the Woodland Trust.

They see it as a key part of the park and believe there are ways the revamp can go ahead without cutting it down.