Campaigners say they will soon have 20,000 signatures on their save trees petition in Letchworth GC
CAMPAIGNERS trying to save trees in the centre of Letchworth GC say their petition could soon have over 20,000 signatures of support. Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation wants to remove all the trees in Leys Square to make way for a fountain as pa
CAMPAIGNERS trying to save trees in the centre of Letchworth GC say their petition could soon have over 20,000 signatures of support.
Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation wants to remove all the trees in Leys Square to make way for a fountain as part of its town centre re-development scheme.
But campaigners led by Sue Hogg of Wilbury Road, Letchworth GC, claim the Foundation is acting irresponsibly and trying to pull the wool over the people's eyes claiming two of the trees are diseased.
So far campaigners have collected 12,632 signatures and despite the Foundation saying it will not reprieve the trees, Mrs Hogg is adamant the save the trees campaign will continue.
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"The Foundation has never given a valid reason for the trees to be cut down," said Mrs Hogg.
"These trees are visually important to Letchworth town centre. The Foundation is not listening to us or the people who have signed out petition.
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"I am sure we will eventually get over 20,000 signatures and that is two thirds of Letchworth GC's population so for the Foundation to ignore them would be wrong.
"We have been told on good authority that the trees are not diseased. The Foundation is trying to pull the wool over people's eyes saying the trees are diseased and removing them and putting a fountain in their place and a few shrubs would make the square more pleasant.
"We don't need another fountain. These are landmark trees that are vital to Leys Square and we are hoping the Foundation will wake up and listen to us and what the people feel about the trees."
Mrs Hogg added: "Will be out in the square every Saturday come rain or shine and on some days in the week. We are not giving up our campaign."
Marilyn Hands, the Foundation's director of property, said: "Our position remains the same. We have to look at the whole town centre re-development scheme, not just in isolation to Leys Square.
"We have consistently said the trees in Leys Square, some of which are in a bad condition, will not be removed until after the bird nesting season finishes at the end of September.
"We have gone to great lengths to explain our position with the leaders of the protest and as well as a spectacular new fountain and seating, there will be a vast array of plants in the pedestrian-orientated seating area from Leys Square to the junction with Eastcheap.
"Our trees credentials are without question, having planted 25,000 trees in the last 10 years in Letchworth GC.