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URBAN TREES NEED EXTRA CARE - ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

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Damage to roadside trees could be a thing of the past, environment ...
Damage to roadside trees could be a thing of the past, environment

minister Alan Meale has said.

Mr Meale called on everyone concerned with road maintenance to work

closely together to ensure the well-being and future of street

growing trees.

These trees risk damage each time local authorities and contractors

repair a road or pavement. And, when they reach the end of their

natural lives, it may not be possible to replace them.

He was announcing consultation on proposed guidelines encouraging

better communication and coordination between local authority

highways engineers and tree officers, planners and architects when

working on the roads.

Mr Meale said:

'The trees that tend to mean most to us, because we see them every

day of our lives, are the ones that line the streets where we live

and work. Too many of these are being needlessly damaged.

'The importance of trees in enhancing our quality of life is

acknowledged in the government's new sustainable development

strategy. We must do all we can to care for them.

'The draft guidelines that we have issued for consultation show how

local authorities can continue to accommodate trees safely in our

highways. They give advice on good working practices which, if

adopted by local authorities, will protect trees during road

construction or maintenance works, and will help to ensure they do

not pose a danger to road users and pedestrians.

'The well-being of urban trees will also be the focus of a three year

study commissioned by the Highways Agency. This will research the

conditions required to ensure that trees continue to thrive in our

cities and towns, and will be a further step towards safeguarding our

urban trees.'

NOTES

The draft Guidance 'Roots and Routes' has been produced in

conjunction with Local Highway Authorities, the Arboricultural

Association, the London Tree Officers Association and the

Arboricultural Advisory and Information Service. Similar guidance in

relation to utility works and trees was published in 1995 by the

National Joint Utilities Group (Guidelines for the Planning,

Installation and Maintenance of Utility Services in Proximity to

Trees - NJUG 10).

The closing date for responses to the consultation is 31 August 1999.

Copies of the consultation paper can be obtained from Charlotte

Jones, Rural Development Division, 0171 890 5623, E-mail:

rdd4_trees@detr.gsi.gov.uk The consultation document can also be

found on the DETR website http://www.detr.gov.uk

The three year research project commissioned by the Highways Agency

will be lead by engineering, environmental and landscape consultants

Richards, Moorehead & Laing Limited (RML), together with specialists

from the Transport Research Laboratory and the Arboricultural

Advisory and Information Service of the Tree Advice Trust. The

research was announced on Wednesday 23 June by Parliamentary Under

Secretary of State, Lord Whitty. Copies of the press notice entitled

'Root and branch study to promote green streets' are available from

the DETR website.

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