Urgent Tree Threat Alert – Acocks Green to lose more trees??

May 2nd, 2010

Woodcock Lane/Warwick Road corner avenue of trees, Acocks Green. Not again? Yes, unfortunately, again.

The Lost Wood (Woodcock Lane, Acocks Green)

The story is that the group of trees, pictured behind the fence, here, is, historically, the avenue of trees which led to Acocks Green House; the seventeenth century house owned by the Acock family, so, ultimately a place of great historic significance to all those who live in, and care about, Acocks Green. Acocks Green House was compulsorily purchased by Birmingham City Council in 1959 and three blocks of flats were built on the site This small avenue of trees was left as a single marker of the Acocks family land. It was an attractive oasis of greenery, known well to Acocks Green residents. There were bluebells under the trees around this time of the year. Local elderly residents, without their own gardens in the, sadly, aptly named Needwood House next door to the trees enjoyed overlooking the small wood, and reguarly walked in it.

In 2006 it came to light that the Council had sold the small wood to the house alongside. Almost no-one knew about this, until too late. Required legal niceties, for making a public announcement of intention to sell Council land, were covered by a single, small, advertisement appearing at the back of The Birmingham Post; needless to say, no-one saw this. Tree preservation orders were placed on the trees, when Acocks Green people raised the alarm, but no-one was able to do any more. Acocks Green residents generally, but residents of Needwood House in particular, were incensed. The sale duly went through, and a large fence appeared in front of the, previously, common land, with all the trees now behind it. That was that.

The picture above was taken from over the road, and holding the camera up. The view seen by local people now is, a lot of the time, more like this one:

Can't see the Trees for the Wood ...

Can't see the Trees for the Wood ...

There is now one more of a series of plans which have, since the sale, been put forward, involving the trees:

Acocks Green Tree Avenue Plan

When Acocks Green Focus Group members inspected yesterday it looked as though quite a lot of the trees were being prepared for ‘something’ : a number of branches had clearly been recently removed from a number of trees. A two storied building is to be built on part of this site.

The official deadline for comments is 13 May folks (Though they will probably be accepted until a few days later.) Need we say more?

Apparently yes: we have now had a report of holes dug in the ground which may have already disturbed tree roots.

Important update: We have now managed to have a discussion with the relevant tree officer, Rick Wood. Mr Wood has visited the site. He confirms that the application does not involve the removal of any more trees, but the oak tree referred to in the application is to be pruned rather than removed. That, is a relief to know. Permission was given to prune the higher branches. Barriers are

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to be put into the ground to protect the roots of the trees. Soil recently left around the roots, which could cause damage has, hopefully, been removed. (We await confirmation) However, this leaves the issue of a two storied building being built on the land, and aesthetic questions around this. We will be looking into this further.

3 Responses to “Urgent Tree Threat Alert – Acocks Green to lose more trees??”

  1. Ged Hughes says:

    It indeed would be a sad loss if more trees were taken down, because of the historical links of course, but also the adding to the upset that this loss of green space has already caused to lots of local people. Thanks for highlighting it.

  2. rebecca doherty says:

    It would seem that the whole situation regarding this green area has been badly handled. All these types of plans just slowly but surely reduce areas like the green to nothing of interest and nothing to recommend them. We must preserve our green spaces for the future and preserve our historical links which will be important in years to come for the area and community. I have had my comment on the planning application and hope that others do the same. Thank you for raising this concern.

  3. Ann Clarke says:

    The Council TPO should be out there looking at the damage done as these trees are under their protection. As with Highfield House in Hall Green, the damage to these trees can be seen and it is obvious, as with Highfield House, that the owner of the land wishes to damage the roots and then cut them down as dangerous. Surely, the Council and the TPO cannot be so naive again!! Has the Planning Dept given the “wink” that the p.a. will be passed as they are proceeding with the work.

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