Worried Bristol mum says ‘unsafe’ tree could hurt kids

worried bristol mum says unsafe tree could hurt kids - Worried Bristol mum says 'unsafe' tree could hurt kids

Children are in danger of being hurt by one of the trees in line for the axe in St Paul’s, according to a concerned mother.

Steph Wardle, 46, of St Agnes, warns a dangerous branch has been left by contractors who began work on the trees on Lower Ashley Road at the weekend.

The carer said: “A lot of children walk up and down that path and children pass underneath that particular limb of the tree dozens of times per day, so it’s not safe.”

Environmentalists have been protesting against the plans to remove five Norway maples to clear space for development on the site, which is near the M32.

Ms Wardle, one of the concerned residents, believes the trees should be allowed to remain – but she is calling for work on the half-sawn branch to be finished.

 

The-mother-of-one said: “When they were hacking at it, the contractors didn’t put any protection around it and it’s only a matter of time until that branch falls and causes some significant damage.

“So it’s going to have to be removed – but the tree could remain.”

worried bristol mum says unsafe tree could hurt kids 2 - Worried Bristol mum says 'unsafe' tree could hurt kids

The branch which is causing concern among parents. (Image: Michael Lloyd Photography)

Meanwhile, the trees have sparked a political row between the Bristol Labour Party and the Greens over claims the maples could have been saved.

A Bristol Labour spokesperson said: “Unfortunately in 2016 during the last administration, Green Party councillors in Ashley ward could not be bothered to bring this planning application before a planning committee.

“At committee, it would have been possible to attach strong environmental protections as development conditions.

 

“The Green Party seem happy to pose for photos when it’s too late, but less keen to do the work when it counts. Thankfully, our council has insisted on compensation so these trees will be replaced.”

Green Party councillor Jude English, who represents the Ashley ward, branded the claims “really disappointing”.

She said she was not a councillor at the time the plans were put forward, but argued even if such proposals are challenged, they are difficult to defeat.

worried bristol mum says unsafe tree could hurt kids 3 - Worried Bristol mum says 'unsafe' tree could hurt kids

Green Party councillor Jude English, who represents Ashley. (Image: Bristol Post)

She said: “If it happened again we could go back to planning and say we want TPOs [tree protection orders] on those trees…

“[But] it would be really hard for anyone to defend those trees against the planning regulations. This is the sad state of affairs.”

She added: “It would not have made any difference whether a Green councillor called it in or a Labour councillor called it in – or the mayor called it in.”

 

Rob Bryher, a Green councillor for Ashley between 2013-16, did not wish to comment on the Labour group’s statement.

Gus Hoyt, who represented the ward between 2011-16 as a Green councillor, was approached for comment.

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