Hertfordshire village’s trees chopped for safety reasons

A “MAGNIFICENT” avenue of mature lime trees lining a village street was chopped down for safety reasons after a driver claimed the foliage blocked their view when a child stepped into the road.

The residents of Adele Avenue, Digswell, received an “unpleasant new year’s present” on Wednesday, when county council tree contractors arrived and hacked the trees right back to their trunks.

Peter Neville, Welwyn parish councillor, who overlooks the road from his home in Harmer Green Lane, said: “The trees were planted over 100 years ago in direct line with the exit of Welwyn North station, so making an impressive gateway to Digswell.

“The trees were last pollarded only two or three years ago, and were well on the way to recovering their correct shape and appearance in another couple of years.

“They’d not even had time to regain their proper shape since the last pollarding.”

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The arching of the trees line up with the entrance of the railway station and Mr Neville said the picturesque scene will not be repeated for around five to seven years when the trees grow back.

He added: “At a time when councils are looking to save every penny, I can’t understand why the county council needs to spend good money on repeating their work, so soon after the last time, when it makes these noble trees look so ugly.

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“I despair to see Adele Avenue look like a street full of telegraph poles rather than trees.”

However, a council spokeswoman said the trees had to be pollarded every three or four years for the “safety of road users and pedestrians as the trees start to encroach on the road and pavement”.

She added: “We took action at this point in time because there had been a report of a near miss when a driver didn’t see a child step out into the road because of the overgrown trees.”

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