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Leven Park - Proposed Environmental Improvements

Consultation Feedback

In October this year we requested your views and opinions about possible environmental improvements at Leven Park, which comprised of three main elements;

  1. The installation of additional play equipment in the play area.
  2. The installation of a set of 5-A-Side goals to the rear of the cricket club.
  3. The planting of over 3,500 trees.

In response to your feedback the plans have been modified as follows:

  1. The additional item of play equipment (slide) will be installed
  2. The safety surfacing under the swings will be reviewed
  3. The installation of the 5-A-Side goals will not go ahead
  4. The proposed tree planting scheme has been reduced from the planting of 3,500 trees down to 1,800 trees. The trees will be planted on the largest area of open space at the west of the site
  5. Ornamental wildflowers will be planted near to the entrance at Kirk Road

The reviewed masterplan can be viewed here.

We hope to plant the trees in early 2021, and if current restrictions allow, we would like to invite those of you who registered as volunteers to help us with this.

 

The Trees

The trees that we propose to plant are all native trees commonly found around Northern England, such as Oak, Birch, Maple and Beech.

The trees will be provided by a local nursery which ensures they are ‘biosecure’ and will be able to tolerate the local conditions as well as ensuring no pathogens or diseases are imported to the area.

 

Planting and Maintenance

After the first year of the trees being planted, we will ensure the maintenance of the trees by applying herbicide to prevent weeds. This practise has been identified by organisations such as the Forestry Commission as being beneficial for the trees to help establish them.

After the first year there will be no other maintenance of the planted areas. This means that in the first instance the grass between the trees will grow long. Whilst this will be beneficial for wildlife, it may also mean we will see other plants such as docs and thistles. It will then take a few years for other plants more associated with woodland to show.

After 10 years the trees will be well established. About this time is when the first ‘thinning’ of the trees will take place, removing poorer and weaker trees allowing the stronger more dominant trees to develop further. Further thinning operations will then be required over the years.

 

The Benefits of Planting Trees

There are lots of benefits that the tree planting scheme will bring to the community including:

  • Building community spirit and help educate communities about the benefits of trees and nature, whilst having a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, reducing stress and encouraging outdoor activities
  • Creating a wildlife habitat and increasing pollinator numbers
  • Removing and storing carbon from the air plus they will help to clean the air and absorb odours and pollutants
  • Bringing economic benefits to an area by reducing green-space maintenance costs and by raising house prices on aesthetic grounds
  • It will also help to reduce flood risk, soil erosion and trees will benefit from the soil conditions