’Elf and safety means end of starlings’ roost

Cut down: The site on Harrington Street where the trees have been felled
Cut down: The site on Harrington Street where the trees have been felled
Share this article
Have your say

A student has hit out after tree surgeons were called in to fell a group of conifers.

Gemma Dicky, who studies at the University of Central Lancashire, said the trees on Harrington Street were a regular roost for starlings.

Now she is worried that the birds, which flock into the city in their thousands during autumn, will be left with nowhere to go.

Gemma, 30, from Fulwood, Preston, said: “I’ve lived in Preston all my life and I know that the starlings arrive at the same time every year.

“It’s usually around the time that the hour changes and you can see the birds as it’s getting dark.

“They fly up together and are a wonderful sight to behold. I look forward to seeing them every year.”

Gemma, who is in the second year of a contemporary crafts degree, said she was concerned that there had been no public notice that the trees were going to be cut down.

She said: “It’s not as if they’re diseased or anything like that, I feel like the university could at least have let us know what was going to happen.

“Surely there should have been some kind of public consultation.”

But a spokesman for the university said the 10 conifers were unsafe.

He said: “The conifer trees on Whitendale Car Park have been removed for health and safety reasons.

“The trees’ root balls were located in what used to be the foundations of a row of terraced houses on Harrington Street and were considered unsafe.

“They were planted back in 1985 as part of a screen planting project.

“The area has since developed and over time other planting that formed part of the original screening has been removed.” He said that the university would be planting more trees around campus to compensate for the loss.

Starlings are well known for their stunning autumn aerial displays, which often involve tens of thousands of birds. The displays are known as murmurations.