Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Shepherd's Bush: Council invites blogreaders on "Tree Walk"



Do you want more trees? You are cordially invited to go on a "Tree Walk" around Shepherd's Bush, courtesy of H&F Council, to look at where new trees could be planted. Regular readers will remember I ranted just a little about the trumpeting on the H&F Conservative Party website of new trees across the borough, but missing from the list of any of this planting frenzy was any postcode beginning with W12. 

It seemed from the comments and responses on Twitter that this was something many of you were not impressed with either. But one of the responses I did get was from Councillor Harry Phibbs, who was last in action on this blog transforming derelict houses in W12 into shiny new ones. He not only responded to me but took it up with Council officials, one of whom has offered anyone interested to go on a walk with him to see exactly what the tree situation is and is likely to be in Shepherd's Bush.

Apparently the Council did have a scheme to investigate sites for new trees which didn't really go anywhere because of lack of interest, in part from residents but also in part from local councillors (shame on them). Cllr Phibbs explains:


"We had our own scheme a couple of years ago of Tree Walks. The purpose was to investigate suitable sites for new street trees. Residents assocs/individual residents sponsored trees (which cost £250 a time) with the first five being matched by the Council". 


"This did produce some new trees in Shepherd's Bush - although no tree walks took place in Wormholt and White City and College Park and Old Oak Wards. I was organising the Tree Walks but was reliant on finding interest from ward councillors or residents associations in each ward".


"Often the problem with new street trees is just as much finding a viable site as the money. There is sometimes money available under Section 106 agreements even when there isn't sponsorship on offer from residents".


So full credit to Councillor Phibbs for responding to the concern and also for making the offer - we can't very well complain if we're not prepared to talk to them about where the trees might go. So who's interested? Answer either in the comments or send your contact details by email to shepherdsbushblog@yahoo.co.uk - I'll receive them and won't send them anywhere else. When I have some names we can look at dates, I guess in February-ish. 

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