Newly planted trees to be dug up over concerns raised by residents

Young trees planted last month to create an eco-friendly apple orchard are to be dug up after Garstang residents pointed out the site was a popular kick-about and play area used by local children.

By Tony Coppin
Sunday, 6th March 2022, 3:45 pm

The “green theme” planting on public land off Hereford Avenue was carried out by town and borough councillors and volunteers from Garstang’s “Bloom team.”

Now some of the tiny trees are to be removed following on-line protests.

Within hours of the planting of dozens of saplings close to the field’s goalpost, residents took to social media to complain about the loss of the play area, used by youngsters in summer for football and cricket, and also about alleged lack of consultation.

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Oliver Atkinson and Shaun Turner planting the trees

Ella Holding, whose garden overlooks the field, said: “They have been planted right in the middle of the space. This space is used by children of all ages. We use it a lot in the summer to play cricket and football. Unfortunately this is something we won't be able to do anymore.”

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Rev Michael Roberts, a retired vicar, wrote: “We need many trees planted but don’t have to use a play area.”

Christina Carney wrote: “How stupid, why would they plant in an area young people use as a pitch, the trees are going to be ripped up and damaged then it’ll be the children who are blamed.”

Tom Pursglove wrote: “I didn't expect a load of people to turn up on a Sunday morning and plant 40 trees in the middle of a well-used amenity.”

One poster, Michael Crawley, wrote that shortly after the planting he had spoken to a local councillor who had agreed to “relocate some of the trees to allow enough room for the kids to play football.”

Town mayor Coun Alec Allen said there had been consultation last November and Wyre’s tree warden had carried out a leaflet drop to nearby residents.

He confirmed that talks had been held since the planting with residents and that Coun Oliver Atkinson, who has taken a leading role in the project, had met with them “to listen to their concerns.”

Coun Allen added: “Wyre have agreed that some trees can be moved and it is planned to do this in the next few days."