Hitchin residents' concern over cut down trees

CONCERNED nature lovers have been left questioning a council s respect for the community after numerous mature trees were cut down across a town. Hitchin residents have questioned North Herts District Council s motives after tree surgeons removed trees o

CONCERNED nature lovers have been left questioning a council's respect for the community after numerous mature trees were cut down across a town.

Hitchin residents have questioned North Herts District Council's motives after tree surgeons removed trees on Walsworth Common, and on Strathmore Avenue.

Janine Murphy Franklin, of Orchard Road, was "shocked and dismayed" that the council did not consult the Friends of Walsworth Common before taking a chainsaw to four poplars on the green space.

She said: "A small number of residents complained that the cotton-like bloom from the catkins causes them a nuisance when they fall, which prompted this quite disproportionate response.


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"These trees have stood for many years and long before the houses were built. It seems a very great shame to cut down four healthy trees and severely cut back many more just because a handful of people regard them as a nuisance for a few weeks each year.

"Residents of the wider area are left with a much-loved feature, of a much-used and precious green space, decimated and spoiled forever."

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A fellow resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "Walk around the Bearton and Strathmore area and you will see stumps everywhere. Why are they being chopped down? And when will they be replaced?"

A council spokesman said the Walsworth trees had been destroyed because of the seed problem and to remove the distorting affect of older trees on younger tree growth, while the trees in Strathmore Avenue were decayed.

Lynda Needham, portfolio holder for environment at the council, said: "We do not take lightly the issue of removing trees. However it is necessary to remove a small number of trees on Walsworth Common to avoid further serious nuisance to local residents and also to ensure the remaining trees have adequate space and light to grow. The visual impact for visitors of removing the trees should be minimal as the line of trees facing the common are being retained.

"We take great care to inspect all our trees at least once every three years and this routine inspection unfortunately highlighted four trees [on Strathmore Avenue] that had extensive decay, and therefore needed to be removed for health and safety reasons.

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