Trees in the Market Place
The loss of trees was how Better Barrow got started. In 2012, the council removed three medium sized trees from the Market Place because they were sick – mainly because they didn’t have enough space for their roots. Lots of people were upset about this and it led to the setting up of Better Barrow Community Project. When we did a questionnaire throughout the village, replacing the trees came high on the list of things people in Barrow wanted. After four years we have trees back!
Q How much did the tree planting cost?
A The total cost was £13,000. £7,000 of this came from a Compensation payment – that is a payment to make up for trees mistakenly or illegally felled. So the cost to North Lincs was £6,000.
Q That seems quite a lot…
A Yes, the cost of the trees is fairly small but the excavation and other engineering works are obviously the main expense.
Q Couldn’t that money be spent on, say, health or social services?
A Not really. Firstly, Compensation payments have to be spent on tree replacements. Secondly, there are amounts of money budgeted by Local Authorities for specific jobs, such as improving the environment which cannot be switched around.
Q Aren’t people more important than the environment?
A If there was no budget for things like trees and open spaces, we would have no parks, playing fields and so on. And we all know how important these are for people’s health and well-being.
Q What kind of trees are they?
A They are ornamental pears. In other words, they will have nice blossoms but no pears!
Q If the previous trees got sick, won’t these suffer too?
A No. The deep hole that was dug and the ‘cages’ put in mean that there is plenty of room for the roots. Also, a ‘sustainable drainage system’ has been included so that rainwater from round about, including from the bus shelter, will go into this area. Sustainable Drainage Systems or SUDs are recommended by the government as ways of reducing the risk of local flooding in times of very heavy rainfall.
As part of the work in the Market Place, the unsightly tarmac was removed and replaced with paving more appropriate for the area. Ideally, we would like to see the slabs elsewhere in the Market Place taken up and re-laid in a more level and secure way – but that is another aim to be pursued!