Leicester

'Devastation' over 50 chopped Leicester Victoria Park trees

Trees cut in Leicester's Victoria Park
Image caption About 50 mature trees in Victoria Park and more trees in the car park have been felled

Chopping down about 50 trees in a Leicester park to improve the route to a "significant" war memorial has been described as "devastating".

The trees in Victoria Park were felled to restore the link between the Arch of Remembrance and the park's gates.

The Friends of Victoria Park said it was not "obvious" how many trees would be lost when it was consulted.

Leicester City Council said all the trees would be replaced as part of the £1.8m Centenary Walk project.

Image caption Friends of Victoria Park said the "scale of the devastation looks pretty stark"
Image caption Leicester City Council said all of the trees would be replaced as part of the £1.8m Centenary Walk project

Work to create a new, tree-lined processional route from the Grade I-listed war memorial arch to the park gates, both designed by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, began in March.

Mags Lewis, of the group, said: "When you look at the scale of the devastation it does look pretty stark... people are quite shocked.

"There was a consultation several years ago, but I don't think people felt it was completely obvious so many trees would be lost.

"Although the council has said it will replace one tree for a new one, it's going to be years before we see the benefits."

Image copyright Leicester City Council
Image caption Work to create a new tree-lined processional route from the Grade I-listed war memorial arch to the park's historic gates began in March

Bryan Stafford, project manager at Leicester City Council, said: "With all the trees around this area, it was quite difficult to see the war memorial from inside the park.

"[Cutting the trees has] made a big difference, but I think it has been a shock for people."

Defending the decision, Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, said: "While the loss of any tree is regretted, this was fully discussed with the group in Victoria Park and very warmly welcomed by those who care and love the special park."

The redevelopment is due to be completed in 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites