The De-greening of West Kirby : A Further Reminder

As a follow up to our The De-greening of West Kirby story we have some further updates for your information including details on how to object to the proposed Ashton Court development and some interesting information on how Magenta Living and their officers are (once again) planning to make a killing on what was once public property. We also provide further photographic evidence of the destruction being done in the name conservation in Ashton Park.

ASHTON COURT  :

PLEASE OBJECT TO THE APP/18/01625 Planning Application for ASHTON COURT.
The last date for objections is Tuesday 5 February 2019.
1.Use Google (Duck Duck Go or another search engine);
2. Enter: Wirral.planning applications……..in the search box;
3. Click on: View local planning applications – Wirral Council;
4. On the page titled ‘Search for applications’, click on ‘Simple’;
5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter: APP/18/01625;
6. Click on the green ‘Search’ pad;
7. Click on the Make a comment pad;
8. Scroll down the page to enter your personal details (title, name, address);
9. Enter your objection to planning application APP/18/01625 in the ‘Your comment’ box;
10. When you have finished making your objection, scroll down and click ‘submit’.
THANK YOU.
PLEASE object to the dreadful APP/18/01625 planning application for the demolition of 22 empty and neglected retirement flats at Ashton Court, Banks Road, West Kirby (NW England). The application proposes the privatisation of the site with the construction of 13 three-storey houses and 1 two-storey house…..to be sold on the open market. PLEASE object on Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s website. Google: Wirral.planning applications. Follow the simple search process. Enter: Ashton Court.APP/18/01625 and click on COMMENT. Make your objection.
The 22 flats should be refurbished and modernised for elderly people!!!! The Housing Association ‘Magenta Living’ has 192 unoccupied (empty) homes. This is a disgrace. Magenta Living has an annual income, from rents, in excess of £50 million. The CEO is paid £130,000 per annum. THANK YOU for your help!!!
ASHTON PARK :

Photos documenting Ashton Park fellings last week….The Council will not respect a call for a moratorium and our ecology is being decimated at the expense of us all.

Please continue to defend our trees write in to MP’s/ Councillors/ Andrew Elkington (of the Council) and keep the pressure on for this to STOP
For Trees Wirral
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ashton park 22
ashton park 21

Tree Lines

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There are a variety of subjects that Wirral Leaks has covered over the years that have engaged people on Wirral who have particular interests – be that litter,NHS, the Green Belt, whistleblowing etc; etc;

One subject that regularly strikes a chord with our readers is…trees. So as today (2 December) marks the end of National Tree Week we thought we’d publish some pertinent comments we’ve received on the subject. First of all , a dedicated Wirral tree preservationist has written the following to commemorate the occasion :

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (in NW England) is marking the UK’s National Tree Week by felling 19 healthy, mature trees in Ashton Park, West Kirby……and lopping off branches from another 24 healthy, mature trees. It appears that Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council has quite grasped the true purpose of the National Tree Week.
The tree felling and general usage of chain saws, in Ashton Park, should stop immediately. Tree felling in parks, across the whole borough, is under way. The chipped timber is sent to a bio-fuel plant in Wrexham.
Is the tree felling campaign linked to the roll out of 5G (fifth generation) mobile phone masts?
7,000 mature trees have been felled in Sheffield…..with many more lined up for felling.
Madness.
However this is only half the story. From what we understand Wirral Council thought they were ‘out of the woods’ when it came to a particular tragedy involving neglect of Wirral’s trees but a council insider tells us :
The tree situation is one of the most ridiculous you can imagine . Total mis- management and neglect based on ignorance,  stupidity and lack of competence within every level of the council.
Basically, the council made redundant, some years back, competent tree specialists , hence the situation became dangerous. Trees have fallen in parks, mainly in winds, very very few are diseased, but some are. One fell in Central Park landing on the site hut 18 months ago. That was swept  under the carpet . Another falling on a car with the unfortunate passenger losing her baby. Read here:  Heartbreaking tragedy as mum-to-be loses newborn baby after tree falls   
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have passed the investigation over to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
Basically the contractor Man Coed name a tree for action, cut away and they are not questioned because no one (within Wirral Council) knows what they are looking for. The council are reactive not proactive and are now looking to employ two tree specialists following countless thousands of pounds wasted along with accompanying environmental destruction…

March for Trees – November 25th

We’ve covered stories about preserving (and preferably not pollarding) Wirral’s trees and several of our readers have let us know about a protest march taking place through Ashton Park, West Kirby THIS SUNDAY , NOVEMBER 25th

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ASHTON PARK……..

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council should stop felling 19 mature trees

and removing branches from a further 24 trees, in Ashton Park, West Kirby.

Join a march through Ashton Park, to protest about the wholly unnecessary and wholly unjustified tree felling and damage to other trees, being undertaken by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council – at 11 a.m. on Sunday 25 November 2018. Meet under the Holm Oak tree alongside the Children’s Play Area, Ashton Park, West Kirby.

  1. A mature beech tree, has been felled over the last few days as has a mature oak tree. Other trees have also been felled, without any genuine environmental or health and safety justification.
  2.  There appears to have been no public participation prior to the decision to fell 19 trees and to remove branches from 24 other trees, all, apparently in the lower part of Ashton Park .
  3. More than 150 people have now signed a petition opposing the Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council plan to fell 19 trees and to remove branches from a further 24 trees.
  4. Many Councillors appear to be unaware of the benefits that trees can contribute to individuals and to communities.
  5. In the 16 October 1987 hurricane, 15 million trees were blown down, in the UK.
  6. Has Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council considered placing a skip in Ashton Park so that Tree ‘Surgeons’ can place their chain saws, as a part of an amnesty process, to save trees from further devastation?
  7. Tree surgeons often have very different opinions about the health of individual trees.
  8. Some tree surgeons appear to want to fell trees as a ‘first option’ rather than as a ‘last option’. The discovery of just one of hundreds of different fungi, living near or on the roots of trees or at the base of trees (like the fungi Meripilus Giganteum) appears to be enough for some tree surgeons to demand the felling of a mature tree. Yet, the evidence shows that mature beech trees can survive for many decades (and even hundreds of years) in a symbiotic relationship, with the fungi Meripilus Giganteum. Hollow trees are not at any greater risk of falling than are trees which are not hollow. Indeed, trees which are hollow should be treasured and protected with supporting spars.
  9. Trees with hollow spaces inside them can provide much needed roosting locations for bats, owls and woodpeckers.
  10. Tree surgeons are paid considerable sums of money to fell trees. Many tree surgeons, tree surveyors and tree management companies are paid by Biomass plants, where the chipped timber is burned.
  11. Very few people are injured by falling trees or branches. Most people tend to stay indoors during extreme weather conditions. There are far higher numbers of deaths and injuries caused by chainsaws being used to fell trees, and chippers being used to break them down, than there are by falling trees or branches. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has stated that the risk of death from naturally falling trees is ‘negligible’. Falling roof tiles pose a higher risk to people outdoors in storms, than is posed by trees.
  12. One mature tree produces enough oxygen for a family of four.
  13. Just 1 metre of hedgerow will filter the equivalent to the annual emissions of 30 cars. Removal of vegetation is damaging human health; 55,000 deaths from breathing-related diseases occur annually, in the UK.
  14. Tree canopy is the optimum habitat, ecologically, for woodlands. Mature trees are beneficial to urban areas. The canopy provides ecosystems above human interference, or from urban cats. The canopy provides bats and birdlife some safety from predation.
  15. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council spends approximately £220,000, annually, on tree felling and branch removal, yet appears not to have a budget for tree planting. The Council also spends £150,000 annually, on herbicide spraying (including the toxic glyphosate).
  16. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council has no Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) for trees on Council land.
  17. Very few trees are permitted to grow to full maturity. It is doubtful if there are any trees on the Wirral peninsula that are over 1,000 years old.
  18. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council should commission highly experienced, reputable arboriculturists to survey trees, with priority given to protecting trees, NOT the felling of trees.
  19. One of Britain’s oldest trees is in Llangernyw, Conwy. It is thought to be between 4,000 and 5,000 years old. A rare, 1,000 year old tree can be seen in Calderstones Park, Liverpool. This tree is fenced off and its branches are supported.
  20. Some West Kirby residents have proposed linking arms around trees in order to save them from felling. They have noted that Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council appears not to have provided mechanical support (in the form of wooden or metal spars) for any trees within the borough. This is wholly unacceptable and illustrates the ill-informed held by some key individuals in the relevant Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council departments.
  21. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council should, as a matter of urgency, dramatically change its current environmental policies which are resulting in the felling of innumerable mature trees throughout the borough and the unnecessary cutting of branches on many more trees.
  22. Tree felling and the removal of branches should take place as a last resort and not as a first resort.
  23. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council should have a detailed and effective plan to preserve trees within the borough, for the benefit of present and future generations.
  24. Join a march through Ashton Park, to protest about the wholly unnecessary and wholly unjustified tree felling and damage to other trees, being undertaken by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council – at 11 a.m. on Sunday 25 November 2018. Meet under the Holm Oak tree alongside the Children’s Play Area, Ashton Park, West Kirby.
                          Published by ‘For Trees’ – fortreeswirral@gmail.com