It’s time to see the wood for the trees

IVISITEDBromsgroveLibrary recently and looked at the displays on the Townscape Heritage Initiativeandtalked to the council officials present.

Like many of your recent correspondents I had been saddenedbythe tree felling in High Street, but now understand the necessity and timing of this exercise.

On my walk back through the town the effect of the tree roots that the official had spoken of was evident in the cracked and undulating surface and must similarly be compromising the drainage and other utility pipework beneath.

Other readers suggested that trimming would have solved CCTV viewing problems and that transplantation would have allowed replanting once the paving and other works had been completed.

But these actions would not have solved the fundamental problems of the unsuitable nature of this type of tree, with its large and disruptive root system.

As to the timing of the exercise, only late winter/early spring provided a suitable opportunity after leaf fall, when Christmas shoppers and lights had departed, but before another year’sgrowthandnesting birds became prohibitive obstacles.

It may seem odd to undertake this work before plans are finalised, but given that a number of the trees were diseased and required urgent attention on safety grounds, it would seem more sensible to proceed now rather than delay another year while incurring tree surgery costs for maintenance.

I would encourage all your readers to take the opportunity to see the displays and make their views known.

For myself, I think we need a radical approach to the town centre to encourage a variety of businesses and shoppers to remain.

Rent and rate reductions may have a part to play, but neither are under district council control as itownsnopropertiesand rates are set by central government bodies.

The refurbishment is a leap of faith at present withnonewkey retailer contracted for the old market hall site and further shop closures underway.

It can only be hoped that such faith is soon rewarded with a reinvigorated town centre.

Martin Tingle, Golden Cross Lane, Catshill

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