19/02/2013

Funding agreed to line Aberystwyth's approach road with trees


Funding has now been agreed for lining Aberystwyth’s main approach road with trees. The money, totalling £375,000 spread over three years, has been allocated through the Welsh Government’s Regeneration Area fund.

The Coed Aber project, first mooted on this blog last April, has involved a collaboration between Forestry Commission Wales, Ceredigion County Council and the Greener Aberystwyth Group. It will see the planting of over 300 trees along Boulevard St Brieuc and Park Avenue, running from Parc y Llyn to the town.

These are a few quotes about the project, released today:

Meg Kirby, Secretary of the Greener Aberystwyth Group:
“Our group was set up to promote the development and conservation of green spaces in the Aberystwyth area. We see them as valuable amenities for the residents themselves and anyone visiting the area. The Greener Aberystwyth Group has long envisaged a tree–lined avenue to unify this important approach to Aberystwyth and is delighted that it is now becoming a reality.”

Trefor Owen, Director of Forestry Commission Wales:
“Many consider the benefits of such developments as being simply environmental but they are much greater. There are proven benefits for people to exercise and enjoy a safe, welcoming high quality local environment. From an economic perspective it can attract more visitors and tourists as well as promote investment by the business sector.”

Huw Lewis, Welsh Government Regeneration Minister:
“When the Regeneration Areas were established we asked Forestry Commission Wales to consider potential opportunities for urban tree planting schemes. In Aberystwyth this vision was integral to the development of a green river corridor along Boulevard St Brieuc. This environmental enhancement contributes positively to people’s perception of the town as they arrive and will bolster its overall regeneration.”

The work, which has parallels with the Oystermouth Road Project in Swansea, will commence in March with the aim of completing the project by 2015. Further details can be seen here and a walk-through video here.

Under the Welsh Government’s Regeneration Area scheme, £10.3 million has been made available to invest in Aberystwyth over five years. The scheme has just over two years left to run.

14 comments:

  1. Great idea, full support ..... but at > 1000 quid a tree. Nice margin for someone. Good value for the tax payer ?

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    1. I understand the costs include the planting and maintenance. Costs of the individual trees depend on size and species.

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  2. I've just watched the walk-through video of what it will look like in 2015. Looks good, but do the designers know something we dont? The Day Centre is still in Park Avenue and there's no sign of a Tesco or M and S. Oh, and while they're planting trees, any chance of a couple of spares being sent over to the barren area that is now the bus station?

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  3. They are cutting down lots of trees by the river next to Morrison today. They've already turned most of the riverside path into mudland. What is going on?

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  4. Anonymous 2
    Thanks. I've checked on this. The Environment Agency have been doing work there to reduce the risk of the flooding that happened last year. A council conservation officer has gone out today to look at it and, if there's a problem, will ask the EA to rectify.

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    1. Thanks for checking! It looks quite ruthless for what I thought should be a nature reserve. Besides, spring is really the worst time for such redevelopement.

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  5. Interesting how David isn't demanding full public scrutiny of this proposal. After all, he demands it of everything else.

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    1. I have inside information. Look at the article. I sleep with the GAG secretary. She talks in her sleep!

      Please note also that I don't hide behind anonymity. I believe in freedom of speech but if you put your head above the parapet you must expect to be shot at now and then.

      Transparency has been a Government buzz-word for some years now.

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  6. Trees have been delivered to the Council nursery and planting has just started near the "Morrison" roundabout - see the GAG Aberystwyth website.

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  7. Oh no! No more trees. Can we have a proper boulevard, that means buildings along the road in a uniform 'wall' of elagant buildings. Why has Ceredigion allowed such a hotch-potch of styles and for buildingsl like the new motel, be built back from the road.

    It's quite simple. You go to Paris and copy what they have done. The boulevard is a mess.

    Trees disfigure the Arts Centre where you can't now enjoy the fantastic view of from the cafe because of ... trees! And they've just planted more trees sprouting up from the cafe/pizza place on the ground floor.

    Trees are fine, but I'd rather a town had fine buildings in classical proportions.

    A truly sad and uninspiring day - a boulevard which should be graceful and elegant has been ruined by the County's Planning Offices who have no idea o style or symmetry and no we'll have trees to hide their mistakes. If the building were beautiful enough we wouldn;t want trees to hide them.

    Can we please have some pride in civic architecture and tree lovers can go to the woods to enjoy their trees.


    Boi Dre


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  8. The difficulty with commissioning buildings in a uniform style like Paris is that Aberystwyth (and probably the whole of Wales) has a somewhat smaller budget. At the time Napoleon Bonaparte was building what we now know as Paris with the help of thousands of craftsmen, Aberystwyth contained just eight stonemasons. Still, if you know of any very, very rich people who'd like to build a Paris-like boulevard here, then put them in touch with the Council's Economic Development department who, I'm quite sure, would bite their arm off.

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  9. Ruth EdwardsMarch 30, 2013

    Please could you make sure the trees are staked properly. The ones i've just seen on the Morrisions roundabout had no stakes at all. the trunks were moving even close to the ground in just a light breeze which means the roots were moving in the earth too. I like the idea of the trees a lot and would like to see them grow and flourish, but if they are not staked within a few days, they'll be horizontal! and the roots won't establish.

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  10. Thanks Ruth. The difficulty with stakes is that, with other tree-planting schemes in the area, they've been used as leverage for vandals to snap the trees in half. However I've passed your comment on to the person overseeing the planting who will be monitoring the trees' progress.

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  11. I've now received this comment from the department:
    "All the trees are secured using a ground anchoring system. The trees are secured by means of driving 3 separate eyed wires will special heads into the bottom of the tree pit to a depth of about 600mm, they are set in a triangular shape around the rootball. Then a second wire with a tensioner attached to one end, the other end is then threaded through the eyed wires and attached to the tensioner. The wire is then tensioned to secure the root ball in position."

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