from the minutes of the September meeting of Dawlish Town Council's Civic Amenities committee.
Chestnut Trees – The Lawn
Members present received an email from Teignbridge District Council advising that they have been monitoring the chestnut trees throughout the summer. They indicate that the trees are in decline and that one tree is declining at a faster rate and that they are considering removing this one this winter. The condition of the rest will be taken into account in the proposals currently being prepared for the overall enhancement of the Lawn.
The Chairman, Cllr Mrs M Lowther, advised that this opinion contradicted an independent report commissioned by Devon County Council in 2011 which did not indicate that the trees were required to be removed.
RESOLVED unanimously by members present and voting that this Committee expresses concern to Teignbridge District Council that the allegations being made by Teignbridge District Council as to the condition of the trees contradicts an independent report commissioned by Devon County Council in 2011, and that this Committee wishes to see the evidence on which their conclusions are based.
The Committee wishes for it to be emphasised that as Teignbridge District Council had not proven a need to remove the trees, it would not wish to see any works to be carried out prior to seeing such evidence.
Soundss like the Dawlish council is doing the right thing but will TDC listen, or will they just use "elf & safety as an excuse.
If all this money is to be spent on regeneration would it not be prudent to cut them down now, and plant with smaller native trees, whose roots would not spread under the road. I seem to remember in the DCC report it said the trees have only about another 20yrs of life left. The Strand and lawn would be much brighter without them and wouldnt it be pleasant to have an avenue of smaller trees.
Only an opinion
I assume that the "chestnut trees" in question are the horse chestnut trees on the lawn. They are not a native species, having only been introduced in the 1500s and many centuries after the Romans brought us rabbits and the black walnut. The concept of native flora and fauna is, in such circumstances, as meaningless as when applied to people. I love the horse chestnuts on the lawn and the idea of their being cut down unnecessarily or as a convenience is appalling to me.
On a practical note, the trees act as a wind break and also soak up a great deal of water from the Lawn.