Trees Now on Database, Prioritised, And Scheduled For Action

An officer from Central Bedfordshire Council attended a meeting of the Houghton Regis Town Partnership Committee on Monday 13th July to relay information to councillors about a tree survey undertaken across the district for them, by Landscape Planning Limited.

Altogether 5342 individual trees and 446 groups of trees under the control of CBC's Housing department had been surveyed. These were now either numbered as individual trees, as clumps, or simply unnumbered and noted as being in the grounds of their tenants gardens. The Council had now stored the whereabouts of these trees on a Geographic Information System.

1470 trees had been noted as requiring work; 475 of these were in Houghton Regis.  These had all been prioritised, depending on various factors. Recorded were details of tree types, height, crown spread, and stem diameter. In addition, the visual inspection enabled the recording of defects or other notable tree features.  Recommendations, where appropriate, were made to control any identified
risks and to assign a priority against recommended works (reference  document  p9).

Some priority 1 work had already been completed. Work on priority 2 and 3 trees was due to take place on those identified between early August 2015 and the end of March 2016. The work will be carried out on a geographical basis. The work on the trees was thought to have a price tag of about £100,000 and would be carried out by Amey Construction who have an existing contract with Central Bedfordshire Council.

Bromley Gardens, Houghton Regis
The officer explained that the type of work being done would be low, overhanging, and dead branches being trimmed. He accepted that trees were an emotive subject, but was at pains to stress that the work would not prioritise 'loss of light' or 'fruit or leave droppings'. And there would not be large scale removal of trees. He indicated that where trees were in tenants gardens, the tenants had a responsibility to maintain them, but nevertheless the Council would be looking to undertake work that would be too much for their tenants.

In the past, the Council had had a budget of around £20,000 for trees and were reactive to things happening like high winds. In future, the Council would aim to survey a third of their tree stock every year to keep abreast of the situation.

Tenants should contact their housing estate managers. If you have an enquiry about a particular tree in a communal area, please note down the number of the tree and the location, and then contact Jethro Rolls who will be managing the tree works. telephone 0300 300 6488.