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Residents heartbroken over tree removal at Victoria Park in Latchford
1:10pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
REMOVAL of a range of tree varieties along the entrance to Victoria Park has has left many heartbroken at the loss.
The Warrington Guardian has been inundated with letters and e-mails from readers who are bereft with the loss of the mature trees as work on flood defences of The Mersey gets underway.
But the Environment Agency, who are behind the £23million programme of work along with Warrington Borough Council, say it is a difficult task to balance the differing needs of the community.
Keith Roddy, Environment Agency project team manager, said: "It is important to build flood defences to protect people and property from flooding and to avoid homes being blighted and devalued by the risk of flooding. It is also important to protect our environment and townscape.
"The loss of the trees is very regrettable but was necessary to allow new flood defence walls to be built. We will plant more trees than have been felled and I would hope that people are able to take a longer term view and look forwards to a time when we will have new flood defences, a new park entrance and the newly planted trees become established."
Residents living near the park had voiced their concerns about the number of trees being lost last year when the agency unveiled its plans.
A revised scheme was put forward to increase the trees being planted once the work is complete and an arboretum, a collection of fine specimen trees, will be created.
In the meantime a number of bat boxes and habitat piles have been created for wildlife in the park.
Once the flood defence work is complete the agency will be creating a new entrance into Victoria Park and the design team has been working to make the flood walls as attractive as possible and will include artwork by children from St James CE Primary School.
The development is part of a three-phase scheme to sure up defences along The Mersey and Victoria Park is expected to be completed in May 2013.
Phases two and three of the flood risk management scheme will be constructed in Howley, Padgate, Woolston and Cinnamon Brow with plans also being drawn up for new flood defences in Westy.