14:04 Wednesday 11 December 2013

Tree cutting causes issues at busy park

Written byROB SMYTH

COUNCIL bosses have revealed that ‘poor health’ is the reason trees had to be removed from a South Derbyshire park – after people said that they had ‘ruined’ the area with the move.

South Derbyshire District Council told the Mail that several trees had to be removed from Eureka Park, in Swadlincote, after problems were uncovered during a recent inspection.

However, they moved to quash complaints by regular visitors by announcing that the trees – planted in 1935 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the Queen’s grandfather, King George V – were being replaced as part of a project involving schoolchildren.

John Lemmon, chairman of South Derbyshire’s housing and community services committee, said: “Sadly some of the trees were in poor health and had to be removed.

“The brief loss of the trees is allowing young people at St Edward’s Catholic Primary, Belmont Primary and Springfield Junior schools to make their own mark on the history of the park by replanting trees

“They have made the avenue even better with different varieties of silver birch such as the colourful Chinese and river birch and weeping birch which grows to have fine cascading branches.”

Silver birch trees were originally planted by Swadlincote Girl Guides Association in 1935 to create a special silver birch avenue in the park.

Mrs MacEacherin highlighted the issue as a daily user of the park.

She said: “They are ruining it.

“There are lots of people complaining.

“They have chopped down at least six mature poplars and a row of other trees.

“They have planted some saplings but three have already been destroyed by vandals.

“I don’t know why they are doing it but the park is now so depressing I don’t want to go anymore.”

Tree planting and maintenance is taking place in preparation for major restoration works in Eureka Park, which will start early in 2014.

Councillor Lemmon added: “Thanks to a £547,316 grant awarded to South Derbyshire District Council from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund through their Parks for People programme, important features of the park, including the floral clock and paddling pool are to be restored.”

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