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More than 100 long-lasting trees set to be planted in Mile Cross

PUBLISHED: 07:53 19 December 2013

Councillor Ralph Gayton in Mile Cross, Norwich where the council is replacing 113 end of life trees. Photo: Steve Adams

Councillor Ralph Gayton in Mile Cross, Norwich where the council is replacing 113 end of life trees. Photo: Steve Adams

More than 100 new trees are set to be planted in the Mile Cross conservation area of Norwich in the new year.

The trees, which will include silver birch, field maple, cherry and lime, will replace ones planted when the estate was built in the 1930s and ‘40s.

It comes after fears were raised that Norwich’s reputation as a leafy city was under threat due to council cuts.

A petition has also been launched calling on Norwich City Council to reinstate its budget for the replanting of trees outside of conservation areas, which was cut two years ago, and to work with outside bodies to mitigate the ‘gap’ in tree planting.

Mile Cross city councillor Ralph Gayton said: “We are about to replace 111 trees in Mile Cross which have reached the end of their useful lives and are no longer safe to retain.

“These trees were planted when the estate was built in the 1930s/40s, and continued the tradition of ‘greening’ the estate.

“They will be replaced by a mixture of species including silver birch, field maple, cherry and lime. “We are about to inform residents prior to starting work next year.”

City councillor Paul Kendrick, whose cabinet responsibilities include trees, said: “Our policy in conservation areas is very much to replace old trees. The replacement trees are longer-lasting and hardier.”

However, as reported, campaigners, residents and city councillors are concerned that while around 300 city trees are felled each year because they are old or diseased, the only place trees are being replanted is in certain conservation areas.

Green Party city councillor Amy Stammers welcomed the new trees in Mile Cross, but added: “These trees are in a conservation area and therefore the council has to replace them. There were 298 trees removed in Mile Cross in the year.”

In 2011, the administration at City Hall cut the tree planting budget by £60,000, which left just £35,000 for planting trees in the city’s conservation areas only. However, city council bosses have stated their intention to do all they can to protect the city’s leafy reputation.

More than 200 people have signed the Norwich Green Party petition at www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/norwich-city-council-reinstate-tree-planting-budgets

Do you have an environmental story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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