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September 2011

posted Jan 24, 2012, 3:59 AM by juliet johns   [ updated Jan 24, 2012, 4:13 AM ]
Report compiled by Clive Stevens
This report may also be found in the RCAS September 2011 Newsletter - Number 153.

Conversations on conservation for our area have been the major activity for me over the last 12 months and as you’d expect we have been pushing the Council all the way to get our and your points across; so a big thank you for over 20 letters and emails nominating favourite trees and raising tree related issues, they helped refine our approach.

The document the Council produce (it’s called an Appraisal) is to guide local planning and development policies within the Redland and Cotham Conservation Area. It was particularly challenging to get an appropriate approach for trees as unlike buildings they eventually die off but we felt that since trees are a key part of the design integrity here, then policies should be in (there was nothing about trees in the previous Appraisal of 1993) . The main principle we agreed with the Council was that sustainable planting should be our goal – so that the Area (tree wise) will look similar in 30 years’ time to what it does now. We can’t make the trees last forever but we can try as a minimum to get a replacement for each one that’s felled.

So the following goals are now in the document:

  • to encourage major landowners to have good tree management
    and succession planting plans

  • to address the loss of front garden trees by encouraging planting
    and replanting plus have better preservation policies

  • to recognise the fact that trees are important for environmental reasons
    (climate change, water run-off etc) as well as merely visual amenity

  • better tree management policies from the council (consultation)
    as well the quality of the tree work

  • make people aware of the value and need for protection of trees here

  • recognise that every tree has some value and not just the best ones

What we didn’t get in was the numerical figures that we are losing over 50 trees a year out of the 3,000 we have and few are replaced. The Council’s argument was that we don’t know how many are being replaced so our figures are meaningless. Cynical old me feels they didn’t want an admission of the basic problem so clearly laid out in a Council document. Anyway we traded the loss of figures for the same point made in words.

Hopefully the Appraisal has now been adopted by the Council and we can get on and work with them and residents to start on our goals. If anyone feels as strongly as me and would like to assist us on any of these points then please let me know – I could do with some help.

Front Garden Trees

(Offer) – Supported and subsidised by RCAS

Following last year’s success, the BCR Neighbourhood Partnership are continuing the programme to encourage front garden tree planting (where appropriate). So for just £5 you can have a tree (and stakes) brought to your area plus a garden suitability check by the Forest of Avon Trust.

For an application form, email or telephone 9036825 now,
which must be filled in and sent off with your cheque for £5 by 30 Nov 2011.