Archive for Tree Preservation Area & Hedges

Treewatch – Eg Pk News (Spring 2017)

Egerton Park became a Tree Preservation Area in 1970.   At our last AGM one resident asked whether it was possible to identify the trees in the park subject to this order and we are able to confirm that we do have a map with all areas with a preserved status identified.   If you are interested in identifying the trees in your garden, we found the following tips on the Woodland Trust website: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk

All trees have clues and features that can help with identification.   You just need to know what to look out for.   This quick guide to tree identification will give you a few basic hints and tips.

The UK has at least fifty species of native trees and shrubs, and many more species of introduced non-native trees.   Some can be easy to identify, but others can be more difficult depending on your experience.

There are many features, or parts of the tree, that give you clues to what species it is.

  •       Look at the leaves or needles. Is it a broadleaf (usually deciduous) or is it a conifer (usually with needles or scales)?
  •       Different features will be present through the seasons.   You can use twigs, leaf buds and bark on leafless winter broadleaf trees.
  •       Take notice of the surrounding area such as hedgerows, fields, parks, woodland or close to water.   Some species are more likely to grow near water, in scrubland, parkland or in woodland.
  •       Use as many features as you can, the more you use the more certain your identification will be.   Take into account the overall shape and size of the tree, bark, leaves or needles, flowers, fruits, leaf buds and twigs.

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Treewatch – Eg Pk News (Spring 2016)

‘A walk through Egerton Park should resemble a walk in an English forest’; quoted from a Civic Trust North West environmental study of Egerton Park 1970.

Trees make a significant contribution to the quality of the built and natural environment and to the amenity of an area. They can screen and soften hard landscapes, provide shelter and habitat and filter pollution, benefitting wildlife and improving air quality.   Trees are one of our most important assets in the park and one of the reasons people choose to live here.

Egerton Park was made subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in 1970.   This order includes most trees in the park, in front and back gardens, that were mature in 1970.   The existence of a TPO means that it is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a tree without the consent of the local planning authority.   In recent months a number of issues have been raised by residents regarding trees in the park as follows.

  • Some trees on the border of 48/50 Egerton Park are going to be cut back because some of them are interfering with both telephone wires and the neighbouring house.   The majority of these trees are leylandii which, although they are very tall, were only planted in 1982.   The owners of the properties have sought advice from the Tree Preservation Officer who has authorised the work on the trees, including the ash tree which is obstructing the telephone wires.   It is expected that this work should be completed once the weather improves.
  • A query was raised concerning the disappearance of a line of leylandii trees along the border of 7-9 and 11 Egerton Park.   Residents of 7-9 were concerned about the impact on both privacy (the trees acted as a screen), and wildlife (birds and squirrels).   The TPO only covers trees that were mature in 1970, and leylandii (which are notoriously fast growing) are unlikely to have been there in 1970.   We have done some further research and, according to Tameside local council website, leylandii are not regarded as trees but as a hedge and therefore will never be covered by a Tree Preservation Order.   The residents’ committee has a map of the park which marks all protected areas/gardens covered by the order.   Residents of 7-9 were advised to raise their concerns directly with the Tree Preservation Officer and to query themselves if there had been a breach of the order.
  • Finally, a few weeks before Christmas, a major limb from a mature tree growing in the grounds of 49-51, previously known as Silverdale Residential Home, broke off in a storm and was obstructing the road for both cars and pedestrians.   Residents from neighbouring properties very kindly reported the incident to the council which removed the heavy obstruction and most of the larger sections from the road, neighbours clearing away what remained of the debris.   It was great to see residents pitching in to help keep the park looking good and safe for both traffic and pedestrians.

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Tree Watch – Eg Pk News (Spring 2015)

Most of our residents will know that Egerton Park was designated as a Tree Preservation Area in 1970.   This order includes trees in both front and back gardens which were mature in 1970, so this effectively means most of the mature trees in the park.   Your committee has a map of the park with all designated preservation areas marked which you can look at on request.

The purpose of the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is to protect specific trees that have a significant impact on their environment particularly where trees are rare or under threat from diseases (you may remember the tragedy of Dutch elm disease and more recently the threat to the ash tree).   If you have a protected tree on your property, you should not cut it down or uproot it; even attempting to prune it yourself could cause damage to the tree.   If you are concerned that the tree is becoming unsafe or diseased you need to seek advice from the Tree Preservation Officer at Wirral Borough Council.   Sadly this service, which used to be free, has suffered alongside other Wirral Council services and we understand that there is currently a charge for advice and a site visit.   Alternatively you need to seek permission from the local planning authority, providing information about the health of the tree and any subsidence it might be causing; you may also need professional advice from an arborist (tree surgeon).   All in all it is a complex and expensive business and necessarily so, as the purpose of the TPO is to try to protect mature trees from any unnecessary interference and damage.

This information is not just for those residents who have trees on their property – all residents need to keep a watchful eye out for unauthorised tree felling, or anyone wilfully destroying or damaging trees.   If you do see this happening you should speak to the individual cutting the tree to make sure they are aware of the TPO and, if this fails, contact Wirral Borough Council’s Tree Preservation Officer on 0151 691 8193.   All new residents also receive a leaflet about Tree Preservation in their Welcome Packs.

Further information can be obtained via the following link

http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/built-conservation/tree-preservation-orders

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Treewatch – Eg Pk News (Spring 2014)

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an order made by the local planning authority which makes it an offence to cut down, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the planning authority’s permission.   The purpose of a TPO is to protect trees that make a significant impact on their local surroundings.   All types of trees can be covered by a TPO including hedgerow trees, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs.   The order can cover anything from a single tree to woodlands.   In Egerton Park almost all our trees are covered by a Tree Preservation Order, which was made in 1970.   The trees here play a vital role in making Egerton Park such a pleasant place for residents and wildlife.   It is important, therefore, that we all remain vigilant and play our part in protecting the trees in the park.   If you notice anyone attempting to cut down or destroy a tree you should draw their attention to the existence of the TPO.   The committee has a map of the park that identifies all trees covered by the TPO and which includes trees in both front and back gardens.   We also have a supply of leaflets ‘Protected Trees: a guide to tree preservation procedures’ and can provide you with one if you would like a copy.   Information about tree preservation is also available on the local authority website.   Articles from previous newsletters about trees can also be found on the Egerton Park website.

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Report from Residents’ AGM – Eg Pk News (Summer 2013)

Our Annual General Meeting took place on Tuesday 4th June.   We hope that those who attended felt that it was an interesting and useful meeting with some lively debate.   A full copy of the minutes are available on our website but for those who do not have access to the internet, we decided it would be useful to summarise the issues and concerns raised by residents, and the actions the committee have been asked to undertake on your behalf over the next 12 months.

Residents raised the following points:

1)     Tree preservation One resident drew attention to the fact that a number of mature trees have been cut down in the park.   Is this down to ignorance or defiance of the Egerton Park Tree Preservation Order?   This order was imposed in 1970 and applies to all trees in the park that were considered ‘mature’ at that time.   The committee was asked to include an item in this newsletter regarding the limitations that apply to cutting down and pruning trees in the park, reinforcing the message that if in doubt residents should contact the Wirral Council’s Tree Preservation Officer or be liable to prosecution.

2)     Derelict properties – A question was raised about the derelict properties in the park and whether residents or the committee can do anything about this.   In particular the empty residential homes and vacant sites seem to attract crime and vandalism but also impact on the appearance of the park and ultimately everyone’s house prices.   It was reported that the three vacant residential homes have now been bought and have had planning permission agreed for development.   In the case of Englewood and Silverdale, both are to be converted into flats.   Those present were in favour of these properties being developed rather than lying empty and deteriorating and the meeting was agreeable to the committee continuing to progress, where possible, attempts to engage the council in discussion about a future strategy for development in the park.   Residents were also advised to contact their local councillor about their concerns.

3)     Signage – A resident commented on the number of children playing in the park and the need for vehicles to keep to the 10mph speed limit.   The committee were asked to consider whether this might warrant a sign at the entrance warning vehicles to slow down.   Other residents felt that any more signs might be counterproductive, that the speed limit signs should be sufficient, and others felt they would rather their contributions were spent on improving the road surface.

4)     Anti-social behaviour – The committee had received an increasing number of reports in the preceding six months from residents about anti-social behaviour in the park.   As mentioned above, the empty properties appear to be attracting nuisance crime and vandalism but there have also been several incidents where residents have felt intimidated by groups of youths.   Our local police community support officer was therefore invited to the meeting and he spoke about the actions being taken by police to address this.   The police are fully aware of residents’ concerns and a small number of perpetrators have now been identified.   Our PCSO asked all residents to remain vigilant and if they have any concerns about anything untoward happening in the park they should not hesitate to contact the police.

5)     Fundraising/Road surface – The committee reported to the meeting that there has been a significant increase in contributions from residents, following a concerted campaign to encourage non-payers to contribute.   This has enabled substantial road repairs to be completed.   Those present agreed that the method of repairing larger patches and the use of tarmac seemed to be much more effective.   There was overwhelming support for the committee’s efforts in encouraging those residents who do not contribute to commence making payments.   One resident suggested holding a garage sale to raise additional funds.   The committee would welcome any fundraising initiative but residents would need to organise such an event amongst themselves.   If monthly contributions continue to increase at this rate, it is expected that more road repairs will be completed in the autumn.

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Treewatch – Eg Pk News (Summer 2013)

As a result of this issue being raised at our AGM we decided to include information about the Tree Preservation Order in the park.

Residents of Egerton Park should already be aware that the majority of trees in the park, in both front and back gardens, are subject to a Tree Preservation Order implemented in 1970.   This means that it is an offence to prune, cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree in Egerton Park without the written permission of the planning authority or the Tree Preservation Officer unless it is ‘dying, dead or dangerous’.

If you do think your tree or a section of it may be becoming dangerous you should

  • Contact Wirral’s Tree Preservation Officer (0151 691 8193) as you could still be liable to a fine if you have carried out work that has not been authorised.   As well as risking a fine you may also be asked to plant a replacement tree.   The TPO can also offer advice on how your tree should be managed.
  • If you notice anyone working on a tree in the park you need to inform the individual about the Tree Preservation Order and, if necessary, contact the Tree Preservation Officer.

Unfortunately we have learnt recently, via contact with the council, that due to budgetary constraints they have reluctantly had to introduce charges for the Tree Preservation Officer’s time, advice and services.   Further information about these charges can be found on the council’s website  http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/planning/pre-application-advice or by contacting the above phone number.

We have a supply of leaflets detailing government guidelines – ‘Protected Trees: A Guide to Tree Preservation Procedures (distributed with a previous newsletter).   Please contact us if you would like a copy.

Further information can be obtained on the council’s website http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/built-conservation/tree-preservation-orders

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Minutes of AGM – 4th June 2013

EGERTON PARK RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION

Minutes of Annual General Meeting at Royal Standard House, Rock Ferry

Tuesday 4th June 2013

Attendance: 19 residents plus 4 committee members and our local police community support officer.

Apologies:    2 committee members and 5 residents sent their apologies.

Introduction and welcome:

The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained the new format of an open forum, which was hoped would encourage greater participation and discussion.   He also introduced our local police community support officer, who would be available to answer questions concerning recent anti-social behaviour in the park.   All residents had already received copies of the chair’s report, treasurer’s report, and a provisional agenda suggested the following items for discussion:

1)       Road repairs, speed humps

2)       Fundraising

3)       Anti-social behaviour

4)       Planning – derelict properties and residential homes update

5)       Residents’ committee membership

6)       Priorities for 2013/2014

The following issues were raised by residents:

Trees – a number seem to be disappearing.   Are residents complying with the Tree Preservation Order?   The Tree Preservation Officer is still operating but the meeting was informed by one of the residents that he now charges £25 for advice and £50 for a site visit.     Agreed – the committee should consider reinforcing message about not cutting down or pruning trees covered by the Tree Preservation Order without first consulting Wirral Council’s Tree Preservation Officer.   Residents need to check the council website http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/built-conservation/tree-preservation-orders and an item could also be included in our next newsletter.

Anti-social behaviour – our PCSO informed the meeting that he had been invited to a recent residents’ committee meeting following a number of reports from residents coupled with a perceived increase in anti-social behaviour.   These concerns have in turn been raised with his line manager – local area police inspector Paul Vickers.   He then reported on a visit to a supported accommodation project within the park where he had a useful discussion with staff.   A small group of individual residents at the project had been identified as possible perpetrators and they were in the process of being evicted.   Once this has been achieved it is anticipated that levels of anti-social behaviour should reduce.   He encouraged all residents to contact the police if they see anything suspicious and he will do his best to respond.   It was suggested that it might be helpful if the committee met with the manager of the project?

Derelict properties – Is there anything residents can do about derelict properties in the park?   The chair informed the meeting that the committee had made contact with the council with a view to discussing an agreed strategic plan for the park.   There has been little progress on this but it will be pursued in the next 12 months.   It was also suggested that individual residents could contact their local councillor if they are concerned about a particular property.   Those present generally felt that it was preferable that these properties were refurbished and converted into flats rather than lying empty, inviting more crime and having a negative impact on the appearance of the park.   A question was raised about the future of Silverdale and it was clarified that planning permission had been granted for its conversion to 12 one bedroom and 1 two bedroom flats.   The chair also clarified that the committee had not for many years opposed any such applications, the objections to such developments coming from the local council and relating to the junction at the Bebington Road entrance.   Unfortunately Englewood and the land at 46-48 are also attracting youths and vandalism but hopefully this will be resolved soon (see above).   The issue of lack of off-road parking for these developments was raised adding to the existing problem of parked cars obstructing residents’ drives, particularly outside Salisbury House.

Fundraising – There was overwhelming support from those present for the committee to continue its efforts to ‘encourage’ the non-payers to contribute.   It was suggested that a list of non-payers should be included in our newsletter in order to ‘name and shame’ non-payers, but after discussion it was accepted that a better approach would be to list the payers and that the committee needs to take care with regards to data protection.   It was also suggested that once new flats at Englewood and Silverdale are occupied we need to make it clear that we expect new tenants to make a contribution too.   It was also confirmed that the committee would be pursuing grants for road surface work if we fit eligibility criteria.   It was suggested that a Garage Sale might be a good way to raise funds.   The committee welcome any such ideas and would support them but someone outside the existing committee group would need to be willing to organise such an event.

Road surface – One resident asked why the local council could not adopt the road.   It was clarified that the cost was prohibitive because work would need to include pavements, kerbs and a new drainage system.   It is anticipated that more road repairs will be undertaken later this year and once our funds are in a healthier state.

Signage – As there are now more young families living in the park should we consider new signage about taking care because more children might be playing out?    The committee will discuss this but concerns about the cost and the dangers of too much signage would need to be factors in that decision.

Dog Fouling – It was noted that there appears to have been a significant improvement due in part to our previous campaign.

The meeting was concluded 8.40 pm.   The chair thanked all those who attended for their contributions and support and also thanked the committee for its sterling work over the last 12 months.

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