RESIDENTS have been left upset after a tree stump with a "Basildon Banksy" carving was removed.
The sculpture which shows the face of a mystical bearded man was created next to a footpath on the corner of The Knares and Staneway, in Basildon, in a small tree stump.
It appeared on Christmas morning last year and was welcomed by local residents and councillors.
However, the tree has now been cut down after it was deemed to be "unsafe" by the council.
Many residents have expressed their upset at the stump being removed on social media.
"My partner, son and I would always say 'tree' every time we went past.
Independent Nethermayne councillor Stephen Hodge was also shocked to see the tree had been cut down.
He told the Echo: "A local piece of art has been cut down by council contractors as it was deemed as being unsafe.
"The tree Stump in Lee Chapel South had become something of a landmark when a Banksy-style carving was styled into it with a chainsaw a year ago.
"The tree stump posed no threat and was very popular with local resident.
It was first left as a natural wood carving, but has been since painted in vibrant colours and has become a firm favourite with residents.