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Iconic hedges under threat

Although not too many people would list hedges as being iconic, there are some that are worth talking about. There is a very famous hedge in Scottish football, located at the home of Brechin City.

In 2012, Brechin welcomed the new Rangers as the Ibrox club played their first ever match. At one point in the game, which the new Govan side won in extra-time, the ball was stuck on the hedge, creating an iconic image in a historic match.

Apart from that, there aren’t too many hedges considered iconic, but this is the accolade being attributed to hedges in Keelby.
These hedges are in the spotlight because the Parish Council wants to remove two hawthorn hedges from the village green and replace them with more practical barriers. If these plans go ahead, the hedges will be replaced with fencing, a pedestrian gate and a bar, all of which aims to slow access and to allow better lines of sight for drivers.

There is support for the retention of hedges

Residents aren’t happy about these plans, and there is a petition to show support and call for the retention of the hedges. Support for the hedges revolves around the impact on the local eco-system and the fact that the hedges have stood on the green for close to fifty years. Reference to the amount of carbon dioxide trees absorb has also been cited as a reason why the hedges should remain in place.

One resident, Margaret Moorcroft, spoke to local media, saying; “I’m from the original campaign which was set up six years ago. I can’t understand it. The parish council haven’t sought advice from tree experts – they seem to have taken it upon themselves to make this decision. Six years ago, it was said that the hedges posed a health and safety risk. This was because children would climb the branches and play within the hedges. We would never want anyone to get hurt. But, in any case, this was proved incorrect. We’re all for a better access route through here, but we don’t believe the solution to this is to chop down the hedges.”

A tree surgeon offers his support for retention of the hedges
Gary Lewis is a retired tree surgeon and he spoke to local media about a possible solution. Lewis believes that pruning the hedges, as opposed to chopping them, could be an effective solution. He said; “Apparently there’s an issue with sight line with residents behind coming out of their drives. It could be addressed through pruning rather than the felling of the trees.

We would achieve the same result and it would give clear views for anyone backing out their drives. I understand people do come through this hedge and putting a gate in to make it easily accessible for them would be an ideal thing to do. But we don’t want the drivers backing out of their drives and hitting a pedestrian at the same time.”

Although various local media outlets had contacted Keelby Parish Council for a comment, they hadn’t responded.

“These glorious hedges have stood on the village green for almost 50 years – they should be cherished not cut.”

“This hedge supports an entire ecosystem of insects, birds and is valuable asset to our environment.”

“Just one tree can absorb 48lb of carbon dioxide per year. At a time when we are on the edge of a climate disaster, every tree and hedge matters.

“We call upon Keelby Parish Council to revoke this decision and leave this wonderful hedge in place, so future generations may enjoy its many benefits.”

The petition has been supported by 297 residents and backed by Brightening Keelby, Keelby and Surrounding Areas and Keelby Wildlife and Conservation.

It’s not the first time the hedges have been under threat – the Parish Council threatened to cut down them down six years ago as well due to “health and safety” issues.

One resident, Margaret Moorcroft, spoke to local media, saying; “I’m from the original campaign which was set up six years ago. I can’t understand it. The parish council haven’t sought advice from tree experts – they seem to have taken it upon themselves to make this decision. Six years ago, it was said that the hedges posed a health and safety risk. This was because children would climb the branches and play within the hedges. We would never want anyone to get hurt. But, in any case, this was proved incorrect. We’re all for a better access route through here, but we don’t believe the solution to this is to chop down the hedges.”

Gary Lewis is a retired tree surgeon and he spoke to local media about a possible solution. Lewis believes that pruning the hedges, as opposed to chopping them, could be an effective solution. He said; “Apparently there’s an issue with sight line with residents behind coming out of their drives. It could be addressed through pruning rather than the felling of the trees.

We would achieve the same result and it would give clear views for anyone backing out their drives. I understand people do come through this hedge and putting a gate in to make it easily accessible for them would be an ideal thing to do. But we don’t want the drivers backing out of their drives and hitting a pedestrian at the same time.”

Although various local media outlets had contacted Keelby Parish Council for a comment, they hadn’t responded.