From WHBC website (news section):

23/07/2008 - Felling and replacement planting of Lombardy Poplars

News Item Details

11.15am, 23 July 2008

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Finesse Leisure will be working together to remove and replant trees in the car parks at Stanborough Park. The felling of the trees is proposed to take place in September 2008. Your views are welcome on this and should you have any concerns or questions, a public meeting will be held at Stanborough Lakes on Thursday 7 August at 6.30pm.

This initiative follows an independent report commissioned recently which warned that, particularly in high winds, there would be a high risk of branches breaking and causing damage to people or property if nothing was done. As a consequence the council, in partnership with Finesse Leisure Partnership, who manage the site on the councilís behalf, has decided to remove the trees. These will be replanted in both car parks, enriching the landscape with a range of trees that will have a longer life span and be more suitable for a well used public cark park.

In order to minimise the risk to people and cars, felling must take place before the start of winter and the likelihood of high winds, which is why September has been proposed.

The remaining stumps of the Lombardy poplar trees will need to be treated before being removed, so it is anticipated that treated stumps will be left in situ over the summer of 2009. Stump removal and cultivation of the ground in the two car parks is proposed for autumn 2009 with re-planting undertaken during the winter season of 2009-2010.

A mix of trees, including some Lombardy poplars, and hedgerow plants have been suggested for the replanting phase.  The trees to make a visual impact on the valley and the hedgerows to provide ground level screening to break up the impact of a large car park in a park land setting.

Further information and the list of species being considered for planning will be available at the public meeting on 7 August. The meeting will be located near the South (Watersports) car park of Stanborough Lakes.

If you cannot attend but would still like to submit comments, please do so, no later than Friday 8 August by writing to Finesse Leisure Partnership, 4th Floor, Campus West, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6BX.