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

Tree Line

treegate

Further evidence reached us today that Wirral Council operate a policy of “governance by social media “. By which we mean if you want a response from Wirral Council – don’t send an email , don’t make a Freedom of Information request , don’t make a complaint  , don’t ask a question at a Council meeting , don’t go to a councillor’s surgery .  No!  – send  your issues to any local blog  or set up a Facebook page or better still set up your own social media forum for people with a common concern and tell Wirral Council what you’re not happy about!.

Time and again we’ve witnessed local councillors and council officers only sitting up and taking notice when it interferes with the Council’s reputation management. And without blowing our own trumpet if there’s one local blog that likes to justifiably question reputations it is Wirral Leaks.  

So what started out as, in the scheme of things, a minor story about trees maintenance has , er, blossomed and taken on a life of its own. As case of mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

The tweet above was taken from today’s Wirral Council Twitter feed  (there’s also , unsurprisingly , a tweet about  streetlights) and it looks like they’re employing a full time tweeter. Could it be Martin Liptrot (sky) earning his £45K  we ask ourselves?. Whoever it is they seem to have taken to heart the big message from last week’s presentation from Ben Page  , Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI who conducted a (very selective) resident survey and presented his findings  on Wirral Council’s “Journey”.

For those of you masochists out there who enjoy watching professional PR schmoozers in action the full video is here :

However to save you the pain we can summarise his big message was about telling Wirral Council (and their partners) to communicate their successes (!) but most of all to just :

                                                  C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-E ! 

Hence we presume the frenetic tweeting which will no doubt see a future compensation claim from the Council tweeter for Repetitive Strain Injury.

Meanwhile the last word goes to this week’s tree spotter  “Dad”  who writes :

I have been following this thread since it started and am quite amused by the content.
Today I came across the perpetrators of this heinous crime including their getaway vehicle in Prenton Hall Road.
If you zoom in you can see the large wood louse committing environmental crime ( is he holding a scythe? . If you zoom in even further, you still will not see any safety barriers. I am uncertain that these are the same tree fellers Wirral Council use, but still it’s amusing.
We think it’s actually a harness rather than a scythe and the trees certainly don’t look like those examples of pollarding in the Wirral Council tweet!
Trees Prenton Hall Rd