St Albans City & District Council are set to remove 250 trees across the city, due to them being "dead, dying, diseased, had suffered significant damage or are a health and safety risk".

However, campaign groups have expressed that trees "simply showing signs of decline should not be a reason for removal".

On Saturday (May 13) a group of St Albans residents gathered to express their anger at the council's plans.

This group included members of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, St Albans Green Party, St Albans Extinction Rebellion and Wilderhood Watch.


Green councillor for St Peter's, Simon Grover, said: "St Albans council thinking is wrong on so many levels.

Herts Advertiser: The Green Party's Cllr Simon Grover.The Green Party's Cllr Simon Grover. (Image: St Albans Green Party)

"The lack of engagement with residents, felling during the nesting season, a failure to reconsider policies as the climate heats and new saplings struggle to survive.

"They need a proper tree management strategy fit for the era of the climate crisis.”

A spokesperson for St Albans City & District Council said: "St Albans City and District Council manages around 30,000 highway trees on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council (HCC).


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"We undertake three-yearly tree safety surveys and follow up any safety-related recommendations.

"All of the work that is being carried out is done to ensure that HCC meets its statutory duty and fulfils its tree strategy objectives...

“...Public safety and the bird nesting season must both be considered.

"Before contractors complete any work they undertake, a site specific wildlife assessment (takes place) on each tree. 

"This is to ensure that, if it is safe to do so, and nesting birds are not disturbed."

The spokesperson also affirmed that "every effort is made to preserve our existing tree stock and, where possible, we avoid removing trees".

Amanda Yorwerth, of St Albans Friends of the Earth, commented: "Our street trees are hugely important for shade in extreme temperatures, for flood alleviation, for clean air, to combat climate change and for wildlife and the decision to remove any of them should not be made lightly.

"Mature trees take decades to grow back and so, we think, existing trees should be retained unless unsafe”.

Nigel Harvey of Extinction Rebellion St Albans said “It is outrageous that the council is doing this during the nesting season.

"Most of the trees are now in full leaf, and it is impossible to check for nests.

"The council say they will replace felled trees with new saplings, but many saplings planted recently by the council were killed by the heatwave and drought, and it is many years before a sapling is large enough to provide a nesting site.

"And to make matters even worse, much of the felled wood is likely to be incinerated.

"That will release huge amounts of Co2 further fuelling the climate crisis.”