Fury as 'unbelievable' action sees most trees cut down on high street

Trees in Birkenhead town centre after being cut down.
-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)

Wirral Council has been accused of “environmental vandalism” after most of the trees on Birkenhead’s high street were cut down.

Work has been carried out to fell trees along Grange Road in Birkenhead as part of a £12m development of the town centre. This will make a number of changes aiming to make it more attractive and bring more shoppers in.

This will include new paving and planting three times as many trees but the original plans made no mention of trees being cut down with “new trees complementing existing ones.” However before the work starts, the council has cut down 22 trees under the guidance of an ecologist while four still standing will be looked at again after the nesting season.

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The action has prompted some anger on social media with a petition started opposing the move. One contributor, Tony Norbury, said he was “deeply concerned,” adding: “This is nothing short of environmental vandalism.”

Renata Ziolkowska, posting on Facebook said: “Is this for real? They are chopping all trees in the centre!!! How (do) we allow it?” She said it was “unbelievable”, calling it a “crime against (the) environment and humanity.”

It has also come under criticism from Jo Bird, who is running as the Green Party general election candidate in Birkenhead. She said she would “fight to save trees and to save nature - and to enhance our town centre.”

A Wirral Council spokesperson said: “The removal of these trees was necessary to accommodate the design and landscape features that form part of the new highway and travel improvement schemes at both Grange Road West/Charing Cross/Grange Road and Europa Boulevard/Conway Street/Europa Square in Birkenhead.

“Once the schemes are completed there will be three times as many trees in these areas than there was before, as well as other landscape and design improvements that will enhance the environment.

“The work took place under direct guidance from an ecologist who was there to monitor and advise on any potential factors, such as nesting birds or other habitats, prior to the removal of each tree.”

“The schemes have been the subject of public consultation and gone through the appropriate decision-making process.”

Details of the schemes can be seen at https://www.wirral.gov.uk/projecteuropa and https://www.wirral.gov.uk/projectgrange

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