The Head of Neighbourhood Delivery presented his report on the Urban Tree Planting Strategy highlighting progress made with the strategy including consultation responses and the 850 Lyme Forest proposal to plant trees at the former Keele Golf Course site to celebrate the anniversary of the Borough’s Royal Charter.
Members were also invited to propose further planting sites in the urban wards of the borough for inclusion in future phases, subject to the parameters of the strategy and consultation responses.
Questions were asked and responses were provided as follows:
- Cllr Brown requested a clarification about the choice of the boundary of Keele Golf Course as a location for the 850 Lyme Forest rather than the golf course itself. The Head of Neighbourhood Delivery responded that a lot of mature trees being already on the golf course it was felt that a commemorative forest on the boundary would be a better environmental option compared to filling gaps in areas already populated.
- Cllr Adcock asked about the maintenance of trees and what the Council would be doing to make sure that trees have the best chances of growing and reaching maturity. The Head of Neighbourhood Delivery responded that this would be done through species selection (native lime having good chance of success), the choice of the size of the tree stocks (smaller whips establishing quicker), weed control, tree shelters in certain areas and tree thinning after a period. Cllr Adcock also wished to know if the community would be invited to help with both the planting and maintenance, which the Executive Director confirmed in the event the community is indeed interested.
- Cllr Dymond asked if the Council would be responsible for the long term maintenance of the trees and how this would be done. The Head of Neighbourhood Delivery responded that indeed the Council would be responsible to maintain the trees and this was about planting the right trees at the right place with a proper tree management system in place. Cllr Sweeney commented that in woodlands trees tend to look after themselves after a while once established.
- Cllr Richards expressed concerns about tree roots damaging the pavement and becoming a trip hazard. The Head of Neighbourhood Delivery confirmed the trees would be planted on the field.
- Cllr Barker asked about who undertook the consultation. The Head of Neighbourhood Delivery responded that the consultation was done online and publicised through the Council’s website.
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Resolved: (i) That progress made on the Urban Tree Planting Strategy be noted, including consultation responses onPhase 4.
(ii) That progress on the proposed 850 Lyme Forest, consisting of 850 lime trees and other associated tree planting at the former Keele Golf Course site, to celebrate the forthcoming 850th anniversary of the Borough’s Royal Charter be noted, including consultation responses.
(iii) That Members be invited to propose further planting sites in the urban wards of the Borough for inclusion in future phases, subject to the parameters of the strategy and consultation responses.