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GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

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Cable television companies are amongst the worst offenders alongside utility companies at destroying trees while di...
Cable television companies are amongst the worst offenders alongside utility companies at destroying trees while digging up footpaths to lay an estimated 60,000 miles of cables, reports the Financial Times (p18).

A draft national code of conduct governing the way in which streets should be dug up while protecting trees has been prepared jointly for the Arboricultural Association and the National Joint Utilities Group by a working party led by the environment department.

Companies at the moment only have to satisfy the requirements of the Highway Authority, which is solely concerned about traffic management.

According to Chris Baines, a Wolverhampton-based environmental consultant, the authority is 'delighted' when companies dig up pavements rather than roads.

'Unfortunately, most roots run under pavements where there is more moisture and oxygen than under concrete roads and where they can find their way into front gardens.'

The new code is expected to call for small bore tunnelling close to trees, with trenches to be hand dug.

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