Loss of green space sparks anger over re-wilding site in Clevedon

North Somerset council plan to add long grass and trees as part of their rewilding scheme.

North Somerset council plan to add long grass and trees as part of their rewilding scheme. - Credit: Archant

People living in Clevedon are upset about plans to plant hundreds of trees on ‘one of the last open green spaces’ in Clevedon.

Residents say the trees will destroy views across the channel and have a detrimental impact on the community.

North Somerset council intends to plant 1,000 trees on the area alongside the Walton Park Hotel as part of its re-wilding scheme which involves the planting of 50,000 trees across the district.

People living in Clevedon are upset by the lack of consultation and the loss of a popular green space,

Peter Gibbs, aged 77, of Old Park Road, Clevedon, is among many residents against the scheme. He said: “This wonderful open space that slopes down to the Clevedon-Portishead coast path has been enjoyed by residents and visitors alike for generations.

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“Planting 1,000 trees will destroy a fine view of the Bristol Channel and remove a community asset that has been especially welcome during the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.”

Clevedon Business Improvement District (BID) is calling for the council to address several issues before work begins, to get community support for the plans.

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The group’s senior representative, Tom Vaughan, said: “I’m sure most residents support the aim of planting more trees, but it shouldn’t be done at the cost of removing one of the last open green spaces in Clevedon with channel views.

“This space has been used for over 100 years. In this time of Covid-19, as hundreds of people have said on social media, we need to protect our open spaces for people to get exercise outdoors.” Councillor Caroline Cherry, who represents Clevedon Walton for North Somerset, said she supported mixed rewilding but not rewilding limited to planting trees without regard to the existing use and amenity of each site.

She said: “It undermines public health objectives of enabling people, including the elderly and infirm to exercise near their homes during the pandemic.”

People have until October 12 to raise enquiries about particular sites.

North Somerset Council is due to begin planting from November 2.

For more information on the re-wilding project, log on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk

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