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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Sorry About The Trees

John Woodman

The attention being given to green foliage and its benefits in urban environments has especial relevance to Blackpool town centre which sadly is bereft of trees in its landscape. Once upon a time when the town had a very pro-active 'Parks Department' Blackpool was noted for its profusion of well attended greenery. Sadly this has all lapsed with all too predictable consequences in a century marked by urgent appeals by public and private institutions for landowners and local authorities to redress the absence of trees and foliage.

Whilst some out of town centre roadways have managed to retain vestiges of once prolific shrubbery and shade - the town's central district is noteworthy for its barren ambience. The opportunities to correct this have so far been ignored by planners and developers for the most part and especially in and around the new civic centre emerging around Bickerstaffe House and what is termed 'Talbot Gateway'. So far a solitary attempt at redress saw the planting of a short 'avenue' of trees close to the junction of Church Street and Regent Street for which the Council Executive was criticised (unduly) at the cost. The 'avenue' stands out as a positive step forward.

Two trees actually survived the earlier redevelopment of Talbot Gateway - overlooked by the Council Leader's office windows in the Bickerstaffe House structure. A reminder of how these looked before they were summarily removed to aid traffic flow in the immediate vicinity.

More recently the redevelopment ongoing at Blackpool North to create an enhanced access from the tram terminus being installed on the former Wilko property has also meant similar removal of trees planted some years back adjoining the station forecourt and BTS bus stops. Perhaps there is time for a rethink in ensuring a 'green' welcome to visitors arriving by rail.

Blackpool must try harder - at least in the town's central area so far without any green foliage or verdant pastures ! The recent news of theft of planted trees elsewhere in the residential districts and parks is saddening but indicates need for solid metal protective barriers around installed trees as a starter. Photo : John Woodman


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