21 December 2017
Everyone loves trees – it’s official. A recent Trees for Cities survey revealed that nine out of ten people in Cardiff believe we should be planting more trees than we cut down.
In Bute Park, the Tree Charter totem pole is a proud symbol of hope that we will start some serious planting so that future generations can enjoy the pleasures that woodland brings.
Yet the unpleasant reality is that we are still causing tree carnage in the city. Despite the vigorous efforts of Roath Brook campaigners, chainsaws are still at large, felling beautiful mature trees, in a heavy-handed flood defence scheme.
To add insult to injury, Natural Resources Wales will be re-planting fewer trees than are being removed.
Even with dedicated re-planting, it will be decades before the Roath Brook area recovers.
Why does this wanton destruction persist, when the population clearly loves trees. Campaigners both here in Cardiff and in Sheffield have demonstrated that urban dwellers value trees above all else.
Tree are vital for our health and well-being, they are hugely aesthetically pleasing, they absorb pollution, and ironically, held defend us against floods. Research has shown that people living near green space suffer less from stress, anxiety and depression.
We have a Health and Well-Being of Future Generations Act in Wales, and it’s clear that trees need to play a key role in creating that well-being. Planning departments should also take a firmer line with developers, preventing them from removing mature trees, and insisting on succession planting.
2018’s New Year’s Resolution should be – get planting – and silence the chainsaws.
Chair, Cardiff Civic Society