Council to replace 300 trees destroyed in grass-mowing

Left, Chitra Thapa, front, and other group members planting the trees last November

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First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

COUNCIL bosses have pledged to replant more than 300 saplings for a new woodland that were accidently cut down.

Oxford City Council workers decimated 300 of 420 saplings when they mowed the grass at Rose Hill recreation ground.

The council has apologised for the mistake and has pledged to pay £624 the replacement trees.

They were planted by community group Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon in November in a bid to create a new woodland.

The Oxford Times:

  • Eleanor Watts 

The group’s Eleanor Watts said: “It was an honest mistake and they have promised to rectify it.

“It was a bit upsetting because more than 20 volunteers did give up their day to plant the trees last November however the city council has apologised.”

The trees were planted as part of National Tree Week, which saw city groups plant trees with help from the Woodland Trust.

Woodland Trust director of woodland creation John Tucker said the trees were native species like rowan, hawthorn, hazel, silver birch, dogwood and wild cherry.

He said: “It’s unfortunate that the trees have been lost in this manner, but accidents do happen. We would be happy to provide replacement trees to the group, which we hope will last much longer.

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“The trust has provided thousands of trees for free across Oxfordshire over the past few years and every single one makes a real difference to the environment.”

Council spokesman Chris Lee said: “Each year, our teams visit sites across the city as part of a programme for cutting and collecting long grass on meadow areas.

“This year the long grass areas were so long, that when our team went to Rose Hill they couldn’t see a number of young tree saplings that were planted last year.

“The saplings that were supplied by the Woodland Trust were very small and hadn’t had the opportunity to flourish and grow above the grass length.

“Unfortunately, on this occasion we made a mistake and for this we apologise.

“We plan to purchase and plant replacement saplings, which are larger and more mature.

“We also intend to update our maps across the city to make sure everything is properly marked so we don’t make this mistake again.”

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