No light relief for residents

PUBLISHED: 11:28 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

LOPPING a towering conifer tree which is blocking light from flats is not enough, according to a residents association. Last week St Albans District Council contractors cut by half a leylandii conifer which had been blocking light from flats in Lybury Lan

LOPPING a towering conifer tree which is blocking light from flats is not enough, according to a residents association. Last week St Albans District Council contractors cut by half a leylandii conifer which had been blocking light from flats in Lybury Lane, Redbourn. But the Acorn Group, the residents and tenants association for Downedge and Stephen's Way, maintain that the conifer should have been completely removed which they had been lobbying for. Said Terry Plumridge, secretary of the Acorn Group: "I live opposite and I have spoken to a couple of the pensioners who live there. For two years now it has been one of those things which has been bugging me." He explained that the 80-foot conifer had been blocking light from the flats and council contractors had only taken the top off it leaving around 40 feet of it still there. "All it has done is improve the light situation slightly," he added. A spokesperson for the district council explained that the tree had been inspected again after the lopping and it was felt that the bulk had been considerably reduced. But as it was in communal grounds and took up a lot of space, the council would consider removing it. She explained that the council's trees officer Andrew Branch would be providing the housing department with a quote to remove it but as it had been recently pruned and was not causing a physical obstruction, it would probably not be seen as a priority. She added: "Also it is nearly the start of the bird-nesting season so even if there was a budget and if it was a higher priority, it is unlikely that it would be done at this time of the year.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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