Wirral Chainsaw Massacre

Shame on those people who clicked on the link with murder in mind ! . After last week’s streetlights story we present more Wirral Council Highways hell only this time we’re talking trees. Our Arboreal Correspondent Roger Merry has written to Wirral Leaks and several Wirral Councillors to tells us :

“As a member of the Mountwood Conservation Area Committee I spend a considerable amount of time, as a volunteer, working with Wirral’s Tree Officer, protecting and advising on best practice for tree work within the conservation area. In spite of our efforts Wirral’s trees are being destroyed not by ill advised residents or cowboy tree surgeons but by the Council.

I had the misfortune to find the latest example of the Councils handiwork in Prenton Road East today. 

Tree damage 2

It would be hard to find a better example of how not to prune a tree. This mutilation is permanent. It will cause the trees to produce a mass of dense growth that requires re-pruning every 3 years. The trees have now been rendered dangerous without regular maintenance. All aesthetic benefit has been permanently lost as a result of this butchery. If work was required this is exactly how not to do it.

I should make clear that this is not the fault of the contractors. They are not to blame. Responsibility firmly rests on Highways for awarding the contract, it would appear, without a proper management plan and oversight of all work.

Wirral’s own tree officer would not allow work like this on residents’ own trees but I understand that the Council haven’t even consulted their own expert. It increases maintenance workload, produces potentially dangerous trees from healthy ones and requires increased monitoring of tree stock safety, with full, regular, climbing inspections required, rather than a simple visual inspection in a walk past.

Other Councils are systematically removing even properly pollarded trees as they cost so much to maintain. Wirral Council is artificially creating appallingly badly pollarded trees from healthy mature and semi mature trees across the borough.

An important part of Wirral’s heritage is being deliberately destroyed. We have inherited a limited stock of good street trees but those we do have are now being systematically damaged beyond rescue. The whole feel and character of Wirral is being permanently damaged by the Council.

It is a priority that all future work is halted with immediate effect until a proper tree survey is conducted and a planned maintenance programme produced, with input from the Tree Officer, relevant community groups and Conservation Areas. I would suggest liaising and making use of the Conservation Areas Wirral (C.A.W.) Committee’s expertise.”

Coincidentally we had another tree fella who got in touch with the same concerns about trees not far away in Storeton Road, Prenton. As we look at pictures of what looks like trees in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust we ask ourselves is this the work of the same lumber-hacks?.

Trees 009

We’d appreciate further evidence from our readers of similar environmental vandalism. This may be a  way of assisting  Mr. Merry and others in securing  a proper tree survey and planned maintenance programme and ensure that Wirral’s once green and pleasant land does not become increasingly grey and unpleasant.

Until such time it does seem as though Wirral Council really do hate the trees……


24 thoughts on “Wirral Chainsaw Massacre

  1. I have never read such absolute rubbish, facts please, this job is clearly not finished. Whoever writes this rubbish needs to find a job or a hobby, try knitting.

      • This is silly, the trees have obviously not been finished and I know for a fact they have been now. It’s misleading to write things like this trying to alienate people. What is wrong with you people??

      • Hi Peter – we just report people’s concerns and then the job usually gets done.We’re not sure that the finished job elsewhere is up to scratch.
        We don’t try and alienate people but if we do – we do.

      • Are you really suggesting that the completed job is how these trees should be maintained ?! I have to say that all the qualified tree surgeons I know disagree.

  2. The trees on woodchurch road as you come under the railway bridge in Prenton up towards the sea pub look like this. The kids are saying its a scary forest! Disgrace.

  3. That job is definitely done now, I drove past there yesterday. Perhaps that picture has been taken half way through the job?

    The trees in your picture are London Planes and pollarding is a standard method of managing that particular street tree. Those trees will look lovely in a year or two.


    • London planes are often pollarded but these aren’t pollarded just lopped. As I pointed out pollarding even when properly done is an expensive management method and unnecessary in the cases reported. They can, if needs be, be crown reduced which results in a well shaped and undamaged tree without the on going maintenance costs and loss of a beautiful natural tree.

    • They need to draw up a plan where these street trees aren’t become a threat to the public!Every 3-5 years being pruned,reduced or a re-pollard is a must with some species (London plains,lime) *but to keep on top of all the street trees on the wirral would cost a small price for safety… would u like to contribute roger?as you feel so passionate about arboriculture

      • In what way are these trees a “threat to the public” ?? Pollarding is not necessary, crown reduction may be but only where a proven reason exists. Lopping is never required and actively makes these healthy beautiful trees dangerous. The work done has actively increased the cost of maintenance of these trees.

  4. G’day Lordly

    I find it hilarious that all the tall poppies at Wirral (Probably Crapapple) have come out to poo poo criticism of a job not finished by WBC.

    I blew the whistle to AdderleyDadderleyDooLally on 5 July 2011 on Wirral “Funny” Bizz and still waiting for some action on Lockwood asset stripping, apologies etc.,…….. a bit like those trees.

    During her interview the relationship manager at Invest Wirral, reported that Harbac is still trading and still delivering the outputs which were part of the grant. She provided activity reports of her ongoing dealings with Harbac whom she considers to be thriving. She reported that three extra people have been employed since Harbac was created: and alsoreported that Harbac has created three apprenticeships. She confirmed that the equipment purchased with BIG is still in evidence at Harbac and still being used.

    Yep sireee with Lockwood assets.

    Just a few lines of the letter to the receiver and “The Shyster” but he knew all about it anyway.



  5. G’day Lordly

    What a beautiful day for cutting down deadwood at Wirral.

    I do enjoy waking up and reading a good bit of a particular chief internal auditor’s work.

    It should be noted that the Legal department were consulted by DCS once it was known that the company Harbac was being set up and the equipment transferred from Lockwood’s. At the time Mr Harding reported that he was trying to settle the debts of Lockwood’s. However subsequently Lockwood’s went into liquidation with debts of over £218k (see timeline appendix 48) This point is raised here to bring to the attention of the Head of Legal and Member services the possibility that the relationship between Lockwood’s and Harbac may indicate asset stripping of Lockwood’s by Harbac. An e-mail from Mike Harding does refer to the assets purchased with BIG being transferred to Harbac. No mention is made that any money was paid by Harbac to Lockwood.

    So what did “The Shyster’s” gang do about this Lordsville?

    It might be a bit like those trees, just left hanging till it suits them…….or not.

    Lordsly when you take the law into your own hands it is time to have a good hard look at yourself.

    Fess up to the council tax paying public and as “Ankles” would say court and fete some whistle blowers. That will be the day.



    Ps L me old mate that tree in Prenton Road East might be a good one to hang all their dirty laundry.

    I luv reading Beverley Edwards report nearly as much as I luv you and your work Leaky.


    Wonder if “The Shyster” will do anything today?

  6. I visit my mother weekly and I could not believe what they have done on Prentn Rd before Swan Hill. They will never recover and always have a chopped up figurine in the Winter. I would want compensation if I lived along there. It is absolutely unnecessary and horrendous.

    They need to take them down and replant.

    Its worse than vandalism

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