Uppermill trees chopped down for security reasons

work being carried out on trees at leisure centre, Uppermill

THE removal of a number of mature poplar trees to improve security for users of Saddleworth Pool and Gym has been described as a “cock-up”.
Oldham Council admit some “unavoidable damage” was caused to the roots of the poplars during landscaping work last month.
They insist “the trees will be replaced this planting season with much more suitable and resilient species”.
Removal of the poplars and other shrubbery took place around the perimeter of one of the pool’s three car parks.
Despite provision of lighting columns, some users had raised concerns about returning to vehicles in badly lit parking bays.
Parish Councillor Pam Byrne posted confirmation on Facebook: “It was done so that it would make the car park more visible at night and so safer.”
However, there was a mixed response to the tree surgery.
“You would think they would know how to remove some trees without damaging the roots of others,” one frequent gym user told the Independent. “Cock up.
“It looks a mess and will cost a fortune if they replace with even semi mature trees.”
In a statement from OMBC, Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “A number of months ago issues were raised by the District Executive regarding the car park at Saddleworth Leisure Centre.
“Our Environmental Services staff were asked to remove some overgrown shrubs and to improve the openness of the car park in a bid to improve security for those parking vehicles on there.
“During an inspection it was found that a number of poplar trees contained dead wood and were dying.
“On balance it was decided that we would try to retain the trees as long as possible so work was carried out just to remove the deadwood.
“One of the trees was subsequently lost in a storm.
“On January 8 council staff started work on site to carry out preparation work for the new landscaping scheme, which would involve removing overgrown shrubs and replacing them with more appropriate ones.
“During the works it was necessary to pull out the shrubs and in doing so some unavoidable damage was caused to the roots of the poplars.
“However, our arborist also discovered as he climbed the first tree that once all the deadwood had been removed there was virtually nothing left.
“At this stage and on balance it was decided that the removal and replacement of the trees would be a much better long term option.
“The trees will be replaced this planting season with much more suitable and resilient species.”
The Council also confirmed 320 heavy ‘standards’ were planted in streets, open spaces and parks during 2017 plus 4,000 whips (unbranched, young trees).

One Reply to “Uppermill trees chopped down for security reasons”

  1. Can someone explain why the security of people who live overlooking the car park is not an issue. The trees there provide perfect cover for fly tipping people using gardens as a cut through to Grove Rd and a toilet. All we’ve asked for is pruning to improve matters but instead are left whilst the rest of the area is tidied and cleared. And you’re right the recent work is a complete ‘cockup’ some of us were witness to its execution.

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