The Lime Avenue running through the centre of West Park was planted in about 1960. The individual trees stand seven meters apart and throughout the summer attract the bees from nearby hives. Over the last few years a number of these trees have become diseased and one by one they have been felled leaving a large gap in the middle of the avenue. The decision has now been taken to fell the lime avenue in entirety and this is to be done in phases.
A key factor in the decision to fell the lime avenue has been the need for and finally the decision, to build a brand new winter cattle storage facility in the field to the north of West Park, a field known as Cabbage Piece. A study into the feasibility for the new structure has resulted in several surveys to examine the environmental impact and not least the history of West Park. It seems that the current lime tree avenue was planted as a replacement for what was thought to have been a former lime avenue; however a more recent study concludes that not only was the avenue planted in the wrong place it was planted with the wrong species.
The first phase of the felling process began in March this year, 2016, when trees at the far end of West Park were felled.
The second phase will begin later in the year when the bees and birds have finished making use of the trees and the felling will continue up as far as the farm track that divides West Park.
This project however is not just about the felling of the Lime Trees, it will also include a re-planting regime. This time it is proposed to plant out a triple avenue of Oak trees along the northern boundary of West Park; this is the species that should have been there in the first place. There are four oak trees on the northern boundary of West Park that are possible remnants of an original oak avenue and it is proposed that we plant out trees in the new avenue propagated from these specific trees.
The remainder of the lime trees, those that are currently quite healthy, will remain in place until the trees in the proposed new oak avenue are about 10-20 years old, which is when the third and final phase of the lime tree felling process will take place.
In the world of arboriculture it is about long term planning!
In the mean time the cut wood will stay in West Park until the ground and the wood has dried out and the ground in hard enough to move the wood without doing too much damage to the pasture.
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