Leicester Friends of the Earth press release
5th January 2018
Local campaigners call for better protection for city’s trees
Environmental campaigners have responded to the City Mayor’s request for comments on the new Tree Strategy by calling for better protection for the city’s trees.
Leicester Friends of the Earth have written to Peter Soulsby with their feedback. They have approved the commitment to replant trees that have to be removed but cautioned that the new strategy needs to focus more on the wildlife value of trees. They have also expressed their disappointment that the document only contains one brief mention of air pollution, when the role of green spaces in reducing air pollution is well understood.
Hannah Wakley said:
“We are glad that the City Council recognises the importance of trees in Leicester, both for wildlife and for people, but we want to see a much clearer commitment to protecting existing trees as the city develops.
Trees have been cut down in Victoria Park to expand the car park and now the Council want to remove 21 trees from St George’s Churchyard in the Cultural Quarter. Mature trees have enormous value for wildlife and they help to clean our air. They cannot be replaced by newly planted trees that will take 50 years to grow.
We are asking the City Council to sign up to the Woodland Trust’s Tree Charter, as the UK’s first Environment City, to demonstrate their commitment to protecting trees.”
The planning application for St George’s Churchyard will be considered by the planning committee on 10th January. It received 49 separate objections and a letter of objection signed by 20 local residents but the planning officer has still recommended it for approval.