Thursday, 15 February 2018

Trees in Shadow

It's a lovely winters day today with beautiful blue skies and low sun creating wonderful shadows of the trees in the Meadows area of Edinburgh. A flock of 30 redwings was flying around in the trees, lovely to see so many, they're not as reliable a winter sight in this part of town as they used to be.

The trees in the Meadows aren't going anywhere as far as I know but then these days you turn your back for a minute and suddenly a whole load of trees are felled.

Sheffield in England has been notorious for this recently, as the council there entered into a road maintenance contract that involved removed huge numbers of mature trees from the city's streets. There's been a huge outcry on social media and in the city itself with many people decorating the trees and holding demonstrations. You'd think that the message would reach Sheffield Council and councils across the country. But no, Sheffield council continues to fell its trees, currently people are trying to prevent the felling of a rare elm tree (rare because it is resistant to Dutch elm disease and valuable also as it is a home to the rare white letter hairstreak butterfly.) To find out more or join in the campaign to save Sheffield's remaining street trees visit the Sheffield Tree Action website.

Meanwhile Edinburgh has jumped on the bandwagon of chopping down healthy trees - the trees outside the Cathedral on Picardy Place have all been felled, almost before the completion of the consultation on traffic management in the area. So trees are lost  to improve the area for cars, making the place look like a concrete wasteland and ruining the environment for pedestrians and cyclists, not to mention the birds that lived in the trees.

Plus the controversial redevelopment of Edinburgh's Meadowbank Stadium includes plans to remove the beautiful healthy trees at the front of the current stadium. You can find out more about the protest group here and sign the petition to save the trees here. There will be two public meetings about the plans, you can find out more here.

One of the problems can be that trees sometimes seem to be felled almost secretly, or the felling plans are under the radar or the maps showing the proposed development can be difficult to interpret in terms of how they affect the trees in the area. You almost need to be able to keep one step ahead of the council's planning department, which is tricky to say the least.

Urban trees are valuable for many reasons. Trees in our towns and cities help to cool the air, reduce wind speeds and provide shade, which makes the environment more pleasant. Trees help to protect soils and support urban wildlife. Urban trees can also reduce air pollution and relieve stress.You can find out more about the benefits of urban trees here.

So wherever you are, stay vigilant and stand up when you can for your local trees.


Jenn Jilks said...

In the name of progress, humans do strange things.

I love your definition of winter!!! We have a layer of snow, still.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Jenn, we do indeed. It's a definition of a particular type of winters day, not the whole of winter. We've had snow this winter too!

RG said...

I hope stronger tree protection can be had there. I think we have much stronger protection against cutting trees here - at least where I live. (For now, anyway ......:<( )