Ashby Civic Society accuses Leicestershire County Council of 'vandalism' after work is carried out on town centre trees

By Graham Hill

14th Jul 2022 | Local News

Leicestershire County Council carried out the work in Market Street and Bath Street. Photo: Ashby Nub News
Leicestershire County Council carried out the work in Market Street and Bath Street. Photo: Ashby Nub News

Ashby Civic Society has strongly criticised Leicestershire County Council for its 'vandalism' on four town centre trees.

The Society also pointed out that Christmas light cables were also cut during the work carried out in Ashby.

Two trees in Market Street - plus two in Bath Street - were pruned.

But the Civic Society says this should not have happened and chairman Ken Ward said: "Ashby Civic Society are appalled to see that the County Council have decimated the four trees in Market Street.  

"To drastically prune trees in the middle of summer is the height of folly.

"Why have our County Council carried out such an act of vandalism on our lovely trees?"

"You may as well cut them down!

"If some small amount of pruning is required then it is a job for the autumn not in July! 

"These trees were planted by the County Council some 20 years ago and had now reached a stage as to provide much needed shade and enhanced the view of Market Street.

"Why have our County Council carried out such an act of vandalism on our lovely trees?

"Apparently the cutting also ruined some very expensive Ashby de la Zouch Town Council Christmas light cables.

"Why didn't the County Council speak to our Town Council before doing such damage?"

"The pollarding work to the lime trees on Market Street has been carried out as part of the three-year maintenance and management programme"

Ashby Nub News put this to Leicestershire County Council.

A spokesman for the local authority said: "The pollarding work to the lime trees on Market Street has been carried out as part of the three-year maintenance and management programme, in accordance with Leicestershire County Council's Tree Management Strategy, industry guidance and best practice.

"The council undertakes regular specialist inspections to ensure trees are in good health and do not pose an unnecessary risk.

"These lime trees are inspected every three years.

"The stem growth is removed every year during the summer months and the trees are reduced in size (pollarded) on average every three years to contain their size and spread.

"Pollarding is a practice whereby all leaf-bearing material is removed, back to an established branch framework.

"The trees on Market Street are part of a countywide pollard programme which is usually carried out during winter months - however, due to the Christmas lights attached to trees in the location, this work was delayed until the lights had been removed and prior to them being re- erecting in the autumn.

"All trees were checked for nesting birds prior to works being undertaken – if birds had been nesting] in the trees, the works would not have gone ahead."

The council has, however, apologised for damaging the Christmas lights cable.

"The lights in one of the trees were not removed as requested and have been damaged by contractors working on behalf of the council"

The spokesperson added: "We are sorry for the damage that occurred to the light cable.

"Unfortunately, it appears that the lights in one of the trees were not removed as requested and have been damaged by contractors working on behalf of the council.

"Leicestershire County Council manages a large tree stock across the county and it is not possible to notify all community groups or parish/town councils prior to routine maintenance works.

"The Tree Management Strategy helps the council to improve, enhance and maintain a healthy and vibrant tree stock.

"It recognises the importance of trees to the natural environment, and the benefits they bring to improve physical, mental and social health, as well as the possible risks posed by trees."

     

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