Hedge End Town Council have agreed to replace 14 dead and dying trees at Dowds Farm Park, at a cost of just under £3000 to the taxpayer.
The subject had been raised by Cllr Pretty at the September meeting of the Recreation & Amenities Committee. That discussion revealed that trees and other shrubbery around the Town have not been getting watered, due to the lack of a water bowser, but the decision to replace the dead & dying trees at Dowds Farm Park was deferred at that meeting, pending further behind the scenes consideration of whether sufficient funds could be found.
At the latest meeting of the Recreation & Amenities Committee, which took place on 8th October, the matter was raised again and it was evident that a solution had been found.
The Town Clerk explained that the losses were due to the ‘wrong kind of tree’ being planted in clay soil and that he had been advised that planting the replacement trees on top of a loose stone infill in a deeper hole would improve the chances of survival. When explaining the cost of the scheme to the five Town Councillors and one member of the public that were present, the Town Clerk said that there was sufficient in the Town Council’s ‘Tree Contingency Fund’ to be able to proceed with this scheme. Cllr Pretty, who is also the Chairman of the Finance Administration Committee, added that money had been found for the water bowser.
Unlike the previous meeting, where there was a debate about how and where the available funds should be spent, all of the Councillors were in agreement on this occasion and the decision to proceed with the replacement of these 14 trees was approved unanimously with no disagreement or dispute during the debate.
The new trees are expected to be planted during the next couple of months, during the Autumn and before the Winter arrives.