Reader's Letter: Woodman, woodman, spare that tree

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 13.14.19

When you walk down the steps, from London Road, into the park, you would until a few days ago have seen, on your left, an area of brush. Bush and bramble and young trees (up to 5" diameter trunks).

This is now mostly gone; cut down to ground level and remaining trees have had their branches cut back.

I am angry at this as (1) birds have lost singing perches, feeding and possibly nesting sites. (2) rabbits used the brush for shelter. (3) and most important is that the fairly weak fencing between the park and the railway line is now more exposed.

The last time this happened, a few years ago, idiots cut through the fence to get onto the railway land. Lord forbid that such should happen this time.

Does anyone know whose idea this was? And why it was done? And were we consulted over it?



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Fenton Simpson
Wednesday 15th February 2017 at 6:45 pm
Hi Duncan this your post:

Duncan Herald
WEDNESDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 AT 9:12 PM "dog mess problem"
If the photo above is a general situation, might the bushes be strimmed back as well; which might inhibit the vandals?

Do you want the bushes and boundaries trimmed or not ? This is the time of year to do it. No later than the end of February for birds. (There are exceptions of course).

Why not contact CE or Network Rail who would have cut these if your not happy.

Then if you don't agree contact the ward Councillor.

Don't say "who cut these etc" like you don't know as a former Parish Coucillor with responsibilities for the park.

On the safety side Network Rail should be held responsible if the boundary is not fit for purpose and safe of course.
Duncan Herald
Wednesday 15th February 2017 at 10:23 pm
are you well?
1. The dog mess place is a small patch of strimable brambles.
What is hacked down in the park is a large area of young trees etc.. Rather different wouldn't you agree?
2. Why would I contact Network Rail? We have a CE Councillor and a Parish Council who are supposed to be able to answer my questions. if I or others do the work, why bother having the councillors?
3. No I don't know who did the cutting, that's why I asked. You have some kind of problem with questions?
4. If the damage to fences etc. is on the park side, then it ain't the responsibility of Network Rail is it?
5. are you or your friends able to answer my questions? or are you on a not-our-fault rant?
Craig Browne
Friday 17th February 2017 at 1:50 pm
Hi Duncan,

Thank you for the points you have raised. I have followed these up with ANSA (CE Parks Maintenance) and am pleased to post a copy of their response, below.

Kind regards,

"There have been no mature trees taken out of this area, just self set Sambucus Nigra's and Symphoricarpos'. The reason that this area has been pruned much harder than the rest is because the area is a litter trap and had overgrown so it was looking unsightly and difficult to maintain. When the operatives pruned and litter picked this area they found a small walkway leading into the shrub bed where bottles and cans had been drunk and then left there. It used to be a grassed area and we will be taking it back to grass. As it is well used during the summer at dinner times and evenings it opens up some possibilities for improvements, for example maybe a picnic area and some much needed bins."
Duncan Herald
Saturday 18th February 2017 at 2:06 pm
Hi Craig,
thank you for your response and thank you for making it polite, unlike the strange diatribe posted above.The following points are in no way intended as a criticism of you.

1. I did a spot of dendrochronology (I'm just showing off; I counted the annual rings on the stumps) and the cut down trees appear to he circa 10 years old. At what age I wonder does the term 'mature' come into use?
2. If it was a litter trap (whatever that is !) then the trees have been destroyed but an amount of the litter still seems to be there! Indeed might not litter have been removed without the need to destroy so much greenery?
3. If 'they' mean 'Elder' why dress it up in Latin? If 'they' wish so to do, the least 'they' can do is get it written correctly : the Generic name (Sambucus) is written with a capital BUT the Specific name is always lower case ! Not to worry, the D.T. makes the same error (damn arts graduates !)
4. So it is to be grassed ! Replacing a varied area of different species with the most boring plant ever!
5. Picnic bins are 'promised' eh? You and I know that extracting bins from C.E. is about as easy as getting up Mount Everest on a pogo stick !

Finally: do you know whether the whole impetus for this deforestation came from 'ansa' or were any other people/bodies involved?