Purley Beeches clear-up
28/04/2014 09:03:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
The ward team have all had lots of correspondence from users of Purley Beeches who are unhappy that a number of mature Beeches have been felled recently and that the trunks and canopy have largely been left in place. The council's officers advise that the felled trees were indeed all diseased and that in terms of clearing the detritus, this is normal policy, to create habitats for other species and increase the diversity of species on the site.
However, it is clear that there is signifcant conflict between what the woodlland experts say is best in terms of habitat creation and the user experience of people trying to enjoy the park.
The ward team do respect the professionals' opinion, but think there is a compromise required here so that people feel that the Beeches is a pleasant environment, as well as the bugs!
We have pressed officers to get the contractors back to deal with the canopy, and they have made two re-visits to do this work, just before easter and on Weds last week. However, they had a technical problem last week, which meant that little was done, so will have to come back again.
Some of the trunks are likely to be used to create barriers to traveller access in other parts of the locality, thereby helping us prevent illegal encampments. We would rather see these trunks being put to that sort of use than just cluttering up Purley Beeches, and they will provide a good insect habitat wherever they are located.
We will keep working with officers and residents on this until we have an outcome that everyone can live with.