A GROUP of Leigh activists gathered outside Southend Council’s Civic Centre to protest against the chopping down of mature tress throughout the city.
A key part of their concern is the inadequate replacements that small whips offer in contrast to the large trees being felled.
Protest organiser Gemma Deeney, from Leigh’s The Refill Room, said: “Trees play such an important role in our urban environments.
“They purify our air, store carbon and provide us with oxygen.
“Replacing a mature tree by planting a few whips in a park is simply not good enough and will not provide anywhere near the same benefits as a mature tree.
“The council needs to stop this endless destruction of cutting down trees and need to educate themselves on the importance of mature trees.”
Steph Golder, from Leigh’s Incredible Edible organisation, who use growing and food and means to bring community together, drew attention to areas of Leigh that the campaign is focused on.
She said: “Pall Mall is an area of concern – not only have the council chopped down lots of mature trees, they have also used black asphalt for paving, which means the pavement is going to be incredibly hot, with no shade whatsoever.
“We will be dealing with hotter temperatures each year due to climate change, and that the council seem to be ignoring their own urban heat strategy.
“It’s all well and good planting more trees, but the small whips don’t provide shade that elderly people especially, that anyone will need in the summer.
“Protecting our mature street trees around Southend should be at the very top of the council’s agenda.”
Westcliff parent Emma Elliff, who is a member of Mother’s CAN (Climate Action Network), said: “I’m very concerned about the air quality and pollution that my family and my neighbours are breathing in every day.
“According to pollution.org, Southend and or neighbouring towns have “very high air pollution,” which exceeds three World Health Organisation limits.
“Mature trees are simple tool to help reduce air pollution.”
Contact us. Visit: https://leigh-on-sea.news/contact-us