Tree felling in best interests of park

I respond to the letter from Mr Russell, with some background on plans to fell trees in Nelson’s Walverden Park.

Walverden Park
Walverden Park

Some of our parks have numerous ageing trees with some coming to the end of their lives because of fungal attack, disease or beetle attack, and this could make them unsafe.

Also, we have lots of trees planted around the same time, so all ageing, and no “understory planting” – planting of younger trees, intentionally or naturally, that are able to grow and take the place of the trees that have died.

Following discussions with The Friends of Walverden Park, we employed a specialist arboricultural consultant to undertake a survey of the park and advise on a course of action.

The Friends of Walverden Park raised the £3,500 needed for the recommended work to be carried out.

This included the removal of 25 trees for safety reasons, which was carried out with immediate effect.

The consultant’s report highlighted around 100 trees that required close monitoring as they showed signs of disease, distress or die-back. Some of these trees have since had to be removed.

The arboricultural consultant also prepared a management plan to give guidance on managing Walverden’s tree stocks to ensure woodland cover for future generations, improve biodiversity, and protect and enhance the character of the park.

During the winter of 2013/14, 15 trees which were in a poor condition and showing signs of disease were felled.

At the same time, my staff and volunteers planted 200 trees of varying sizes and species.

These trees are native to the area, less prone to disease and support a wider range of biodiversity.

We hope to complete this work this year at the St George’s entrance and Chapelhouse Road side of the park.

All the work has been done in conjunction and with the support of the Friends of Walverden Park group who, along with our staff, only have the best interests of the park in mind.

The group meet on a regular basis at St Bede’s Church - Mr Russell and any other residents who love their local park would be very welcome to come along and get involved.

More information is available from our Parks Outreach team on 661569.

Philip Mousdale

Deputy Chief Executive, Pendle Council