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Trees and Landscape

 

Welwyn Garden City trees

Even the public toilets are cloaked in greenery!

Our borough is by design a very green borough. Visitors to the area often comment on how verdant and extensive our towns and public spaces are.  If you’ve travelled here from London the contrast is especially striking.

Hatfield and WGC were seen as ‘twin communities’ when they were among the first towns to be officially given the ‘New Town’ status in 1948. New towns were created to house the burgeoning post war population and to offer a healthier, cleaner and greener alternative to life in the capital. Trees and landscaping was a fundemental component of the new town model and the resulting legacy of that period gives us the unique marriage of town and country that we enjoy today.

Things change, of course. Looking back at the old footage or photo’s of our borough from those years it appears that there was more tree cover than we have today.  Trees have a life span of course and many planted back then may be reaching the end of their life about now, but many more will live on, and probably outlive us – if they get the chance.

In the last few years concerns have often been raised in the local press at the felling of apparently healthy trees. The trees in Sherrardswood Park are currently a hot topic.  A story about that from the local newspaper can be found here.

With many trees in public places being felled in recent months people are asking the question why? For the last few years, as trees are felled their stumps are left in situ for removal at a later date. Stumps are supposed to be removed quarterly (every four months). In practice there are many stumps jutting out of verges and borders that have been that way for years now. If you have any favourites send in a picture and we’ll display it.

Trees do have to be removed if they become a hazard, or are clearly dead or on their last legs. However, there appears to be ever more fresh stumps appearing weekly at the moment, and our level of green cover appears to be diminishing year-on-year at an unsustainable level. This website extensively covered the saga of the plan to fell about four hundred poplars at Stanborough Lakes a few years ago. In the end, after public outcry, about half that number were felled, and far fewer were subsequently replanted to replace them. More on that saga can be found here.

The council produces a monthly felling list and a few other useful documents about our trees, see below:

Tree Strategy for  Welwyn Hatfield (2007)

WHBC Tree felling list – August 2012

New tree planting list 2009-12

The WHBC Interactive maps allows you to search for many local items, including protected trees. Protected trees are those that are officially numbered with a tree preservation order. You can find the map here (Click on the planning infromation drop down section under ‘use the map to’ top right).

Important!

Call the WHBC Landscape team for tree related matters or questions on 01707 357329

 

Comments and stories about local greenery and flora are always welcome here, email us with any idea or story you want to make public.

And Finally….

Below are the trees felling list for recent months:

Tree Felling list December

Tree Felling list November

Tree Felling list October

The council’s Tree and Woodland Strategy is currently being reviewed. A public consultation recently ended on the new approach. You can find out more about that here.

There is also comment on it from the WGC Society here.

 

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