St Albans Civic Society launches new campaign to safeguard city’s trees

St Albans Civic Society chairman Tim Boatswain next to the mature lime tree which was at risk of bei

St Albans Civic Society chairman Tim Boatswain next to the mature lime tree which was at risk of being felled. - Credit: Archant

A new campaign to put Trees Over Traffic has been launched to protect the city’s green heritage.

St Albans Civic Society urged the county council to rethink plans to fell a mature lime tree in Bricket Road because it would obscure the planned entrance to the underground car park for the new Civic Centre Opportunity Site.

It was feared the move would set a precedent at a time when St Albans district council has declared a climate crisis and is committed to greening the city.

With support from Cllr Chris White, portfolio holder for climate, environment and transport, the tree was eventually saved, and the society is now committed to campaigning for Trees Over Traffic across the city.

Chairman Tim Boatswain said: “This is an immensely significant decision, not only for recognising the importance of this individual tree but here is a case where there is an implied recognition that the need to conserve the natural environment should have priority over cars.

“The evidence is quite clear that, as well as countering air and noise pollution, trees and greening improve public well-being.

“For too long the primacy of the motor vehicle has governed urban planning. It is now time to put public health first and make the natural environment, trees and greening, in cities a priority, not subservient to traffic.”

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