Campaigner 'delighted' that future trees could be saved from the chop
- Credit: Danielle Booden
A campaigner who fought to protect trees in Norwich has welcomed a council motion protecting the city’s stock but has urged more forward-thinking.
Late last month, Norwich City Council approved a motion by the Green Party to protect the city’s trees.
The motion also calls for councillors to be notified when a tree will be removed from council-owned land in their wards and “where appropriate” 100pc biomass replacement after highway projects in the city.
Gail Mayhew, who fought to protect two lime trees in the Tombland area of Norwich late last year, welcomed the motion.
Ms Mayhew said: “I’m delighted they are thinking about it now, it’s just such a shame that it is somewhat late.
“I hope this stops them from cutting down trees where it isn’t necessary.”
Ms Mayhew, a member of the residents' group the Cathedral, Magdalen and St Augustines Forum (CMSAF), launched the petition to stop the trees’ removal which was backed by almost 4,000 people.
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Despite the mass outcry against the plans, Norwich City Council decided to remove the trees as part of a £2.5m revamp of the city centre.
Ms Mayhew called for a more forward-thinking approach to tree stock in the future and more like-for-like replacement.
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“It’s great that they are thinking about now but they need to be thinking about landscaping plans for the future,” she said.
“There needs to be a landscaping plan going forward. We were the beneficiaries of a beautiful landscaping strategy in the early 20th century we should leave a similar legacy.”
While Ms Mayhew said it was a loss to have had the Tombland trees cut down, she said it also demonstrated how much people care about the city’s trees.
Green councillors said they brought their motion due to concerns that mature trees are felled to make way for new buildings or road projects, reducing local biodiversity.
At the council meeting, Mr Paul Neale, who proposed the motion, said he was disappointed in Labour amendments, which included protecting or replacing trees and wildlife living on them only “where appropriate”.
However, Labour’s Mathew Parker said the amendments would make the motion deliverable and viable for officers to achieve.