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News Report Page 1 of 35
Publication Date:- 2018-27-01
News reports located on this page = 1.

Formby's historic horse chestnuts to be felled on Monday

BACK in September 2017 we reported that Sefton Council will be removing some of the trees from Formby Village. 5 of the much loved Horse Chestnuts that have given the Centre of Formby Village its character for generations are due to be felled, on Monday, 29 January 2018.

We have been told that the Village will be closed to traffic and parts of it to pedestrian area will also be closed to shoppers for a short time on Monday, to enable the work to take place.

Sefton Council said that:- "Over the past few years the trees have significantly declined and will not recover. We understand that these trees are both historically and visually important to the urban landscape they are in, but regrettably due to the proximity to such a busy public area that we have decided to remove them. If left, they will pose an unacceptable Health and Safety Risk to the users of the highway and we have not taken this decision lightly."

With more frequent stormy weather, increasing amounts of trees, of all varieties, have been damaged, often leading to insurance claims. This has lead to many insurance companies putting pressure on property owners to remove all the trees within the vicinity of building and transport infrastructure, to prevent hazards, under the premise of 'risk aversion.' This has lead to many areas throughout the UK having a policies involving premature tree removal, so many very beautiful trees are being lost forever. This has diminished natural resources, especially within urban landscapes in the UK. Some fear that risk aversion has been over estimated in this case, with suggestions that:- "only basic pruning and maintenance" is required, not felling. This view was expressed within hand written notices that had been attached to 2 of the trees, within Formby Village. But with increasing short falls in cash, the Council has to also look at the long term cost of pruning and maintenance, asking how that option compared to that of their removal? However, the Council has said that these trees are to be replaced with new trees!

The posters pinned to the trees, by Sefton Council, included maps that showed the work due to be done and also the locations of the proposed new trees. But these posters have lead to others questioning why the Council has opted to replace some of them on the other side of the road, in an area that has a smaller pavement. Others are questioning the decision to be replacing the trees with "non-fruiting Horse Chestnuts." Some of those upset by the idea they are to be replaced by "non-fruiting" trees say they have many fond memories of collecting conkers as kids, as parents did their shopping. This was a free and fun activity that kept them entertained for hours. Others have added that since 2002, the UK's horse chestnut trees have been ravaged by Leaf Miner Moth infestation. Warnings from the likes of the Forestry Commission, in 2016, that Conkers could vanish from Britain within 15 years, have added to the upset caused via the choice to have "non-fruiting" trees.

The removal of trees is always a controversial topic, so we are interested in hearing your views on the felling of the trees on Chapel Lane, Formby.

Please email your thoughts to us about this topic and any other topics to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

Did you know? The horse chestnut tree was 1st introduced to the UK from Turkey in the late 16th century? In fact it's native to the Balkan Peninsula! Horse chestnut trees can live for up to 300 years. The 1st ever recorded game of conkers was played on the Isle of Wight in 1848! Since 1965, the village of Ashton, Northants has been the holder of the annual World Conker Championships. Plus if you suffer from strains and bruises, certain chemicals can be extracted from conkers to treat them!

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