Project must not founder

11:27am Monday 31st December 2012

Sir – In your article about trees having to be felled before a community hydro-electric scheme can go ahead (December 13), you quote two local people as saying they “cannot believe” that this might happen.

Well, I cannot believe that Oxford City Council is willing to scupper the whole project if permission is not given to remove these trees.

The Himalayan Cedar naturally grows in an open Asian mountainous landscape and can reach over 200 feet in height. This suggests that it may not be ideally suited to a small, restricted English city site.

If the assorted trees mentioned in the article were removed and replaced with black poplars, it would seem to make good sense, given that the black poplar is a native deciduous tree which is rare and threatened in the UK and well-suited to growing in watery areas.

The young growing trees will sequester far more CO2 than the existing ones and will look really beautiful within a few years. This innovative community-based project, if it is allowed to go ahead, will inspire and help other local communities throughout the country to start tackling the climate problems which we are already starting to see and must not be allowed to founder because of some people’s short-term romantic attachment to a few existing trees.

Bob Summers, Osney Island

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