Balfour Street tree felled

The tree that was damaging railings and the footpath on Balfour Street has finally been felled. The Council have also removed accumulated leaf fall. The path is now much safer.

The opened up area to the rear has revealed locations where at least two additional trees could be planted.

The work followed complaints to executive Councillors. The self seeded tree had been reported 2 years ago. It caused considerable damage to the railings and footpath in the interim. It is likely to be some time before the tree stump rots away and allows permanent remedial work to be undertaken on the railings and footpath.

Leaf problems reported

We’re reporting leaf fall issues when they represent a safety issue. No one expects the Council to clear all leaves immediately but footpaths do need some priority.

We reported the self seeded Sycamore tree on Balfour Street several months ago and were promised that it would receive attention. The tree has damaged the adjacent railings and made the adjacent path uneven. The tree needs to be replaced, with an appropriate species, on the ample adjacent site.

In the meantime Balfour Street is covered in tree detritus and needs to be cleared

Balfour Street

West York still blooming in autumn sun

There is lots to admire before the seasons change in west York. Much voluntary effort has gone into making our community colourful this year

Acomb Wood offers a delightful opportunity for a stroll thanks to the hard work of the Friends group
Volunteers help to clear litter from the Foxwood Park. Lets make their job easier by doing our bit
Flower tubs around the Foxwood area are maintained by volunteers

The Foxwood Residents Association will be supervising the planting of more spring bulbs tomorrow. There will be an increased number planted in Dickson Park

Also in Dickson Park, the Residents Association will be discussing, at their meeting on Wednesday, the planting of additional trees. A suggested layout has been provided by the local TREEMENDOUS charity. The meeting, which commences at 7:00pm, is open to all residents who live in Foxwood

Tree planting plan for Dickson park

The York Forest

With many eyes on the forest fires in the Amazon basin, it is perhaps a good time to review the health and extent of tree cover in and around the City of York.

York lies within the boundaries of the proposed new “Northern Forest

Northern Forest

By removing carbon dioxide, trees help mitigate climate change. The shade provided by urban tree canopies can also help minimize the urban heat island effect.

Trees planted in Kingsthorpe in the 1970’s have now matured into a small wood area.

 In addition, trees intercept stormwater, which can reduce flooding and improve water quality, and reduce air pollution, such as ozone, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and fine particulate matter. Reductions in air pollution has proven benefits to human health 

Not surprisingly in 2019, there is a suite of computer models available which give use a greater insight into tree cover in particular areas.

Many feel that the key priority – after the proper maintenance of existing tree stocks – is to maximise the planting of mature trees which will grow to provide an enhanced canopy.

The models have helped local authorities like Leeds and Wrexham to map their existing tree cover and draw up future planting strategies.

In turn, the work suggest that open spaces – rather than verges – should be the first place to look for new planting sites

There is scope to plant more trees and wildflowers on open areas in York near the rivers.

York has had a voluntary group “Treemendous” which has supported tree planting in public spaces for nearly 10 years.

Some work is already going on at neighbourhood level. The Foxwood Residents Association having already obtained a grant to plant trees on part of the Thanet Road sports area.

That was the week that was in York in pictures

York Council needs to have a plan to remedy high profile problems.

“Bottle” bridge is back

Fresh set of bottles and cans disfigure Ouse Bridge in York. It should be possible to fine the culprits, there are CCTV cameras in the area.
Nearby this years crop of parapet weeds are now in flower. No attempt has been made by the Council to remove them despite fears that they may affect the structural stability of the bridge. The issue was first reported in May but the Council has still not responded
We’ve some sympathy with the Council’s grass cutters who have struggled with wet weather this week. Means that several verges, like this is Kingsthorpe, are now overgrown
The grass cutters task isn’t made any easier if garden waste and other material is dumped on verges!
A lot of highway trees are now showing signs of “sucker” growth round the lower trunks. These can cause a problem with sight lines.
Easier to control is weed growth around street furniture. Many lampposts haven’t been strimmed or treated with weed killer this summer.
Footpath widths are gradually being reduced following the failure of the Council to undertake any edging work over the winter period. There are calls now for the weed control function to be taken back “in house” by the Council next summer. The staff employed could be used on verge edging and tree maintenance work during the winter period.
Narrow footpath width and poor surface on Kingsway West forcing pedestrians to walk on verge
Thanks to the Councils Community Safety Unit at the York Council who agreed on Thursday to have the accumulated rubbish in the little Green lane garage area removed.
It’s not just in west York that problems with weed growth on traffic islands is a significant issue. Above from Cllr Mark Warters illustrates the problem on the A166.

York – Selby cycle track: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!

A lot of work is taking place on the Sustrans York – Selby cycle path

Trees and bushes are being cut back from the cycle track

The cycle track surface has been relayed but is still uneven in places.

Trees felled next to Yorkshire Water sewage works,. Providing an uninterrupted view of the filtration units! There is a lot of flooding in that area so more, rather then fewer, trees are needed.

Graffiti still scars the Tadcaster Road entrance to the track

We’ve reported the detritus on the Tadcaster Road cycle track near Tesco.

High winds bring renewed calls for better tree maintenance

Large, unbalanced, trees need to be checked for safety

At least  one large tree has been blown over by the high winds today. It is reported to be blocking a road near Elvington.

The  incident has produced a renewed call for the Council to lop some of its older highway trees.

Tree detritus has been falling on passers by in Wetherby Road

Residents in streets like Wetherby Road and (little) Green Lane have previously called on the Council to lop – or maybe pollard – overgrown trees. They have had little response.

Trees in Wetherby Road were shedding small branches yesterday.

Some trees in Ridgeway have been pruned this week

Contractors were undertaking minor works nearby in Ridgeway but larger trees were being left.

In due course high sided vehicles are likely to impact overgrowing branches.

Trees on Parliament Street have been pollarded

The council has pollarded trees on Parliament Street. They will grown back quickly, but to a scale in line with the function of the street.

Some ward committees have allocated funds for lopping work but non of it appears to have been spent to reduce the hazards caused by large,old trees.

Any work must be competed before the start of the bird nesting season.

More on Lowfield plans – public “drop in” tomorrow

The Council says that it will hold a public “drop in” at Acomb Explore Library between 4:30pm and 7:00pm tomorrow (Thursday 7th February) to react to criticisms of its plans to start work on the Lowfields school development later in the month.

The scheduled work involves felling trees and removing hard surfaces.

Some residents commenting on the “Save Lowfield Playing Field” Facebook page say that they have not received notification of the event. Others say that a limited hours, mid-week, event prevents shift workers from attending

The letters that the Council say that they have delivered are reproduced below.

The plan to schedule tree felling works during February is surprising as the planning condition covering this work has not yet been approved.

Residents have until the middle of the month to record their objections with the expectation that local Councillors will “call in” the proposal for consideration by a planning committee. Details of the planning conditions application can be found via this link.  

Objections should be sent by Email to planning.comments@york.gov.uk quoting ref AOD/19/00001

Residents have commented that there are a lot of questions to be answered about the site preparation work, which is scheduled to be completed by May.

These include

  • working hours,
  • noise,
  • access routes for heavy lorries and
  • contractor parking arrangements.

The Action Group says that it expects the findings of an Ombudsman’s enquiry into allegations, that the Council misled residents and Sport England over their plans, is due to be published this week.

The Action Group may also be giving evidence to the Local Plan public inquiry which is due to start shortly

Trees to be felled shown in red

Housing by type and tenure

“Clay sir?” That’ll be £50,000 please

York Council claims it has no money to repair speed warning signs or lop trees on Wetherby Road

Work on the Wetherby Road roundabout is almost completed with no further road closures expected.

It has been revealed that the costs of managing the night time closure of the junction were over £39,000.

The Council recently also awarded a contract for the supply of clay for the project. The contract for the clay was valued at £50,000 (!)

Provision of a street lighting “passively safety scheme” at the junction cost £220,000.

These sums can be compared to the potential cost of a few thousand pounds to lop trees on Wetherby Road which are currently obstructing vehicle and pedestrian movements. The Council says that it does not have the budget to compete necessary tree work or reinstate the speed warning sign which has been missing for over 12 months.

Some landscaping work is expected to take place in 2019 at the Wetherby Road/A1237 junction before contractors move on to upgrade the next roundabout.

Rotary Club of York launches tree-planting scheme for local babies

This from the York City Council,

“City of York Council is joining forces with the Rotary Club of York – and partners across the city – to launch a new scheme which will see thousands of trees planted across York: one for every child born in the city over the next 12 months.

Every parent registering the birth of their child through York Register Office will be offered the chance to get involved in the scheme at no cost to them. Parents will be asked to send their baby/babies’ names to www.yorkrotary.cvo.uk/tree-partnership.

A tree will then be planted on land owned by York St John University and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust to commemorate their arrival.

Around 3,000 children are born in York each year and it’s hoped that the majority of parents will want to get involved in the scheme. The trees planted in York are part of 47,000 Rotary UK are aiming to plant across the country over the next 12 months”

Shame that the Council doesn’t manage its existing tree stock on public land with the same enthusiasm.

They also remain stubbornly aloof from the proposal that an avenue of trees be planted on rural Askham Lane to commemorate the end of WW1.. (more…)