Chestnut Walk trees to be replaced

Removal of the Trees in Chestnut Walk

Chestnut Walk

(some text with thanks to Friends of Reading Abbey, image Reading Chronicle whose report is HERE)

Chestnut Walk Tree Replacement is part of £160,000 Improvement Plan by Reading Council. A total of 18 distinctive mature horse chestnut trees along the Walk have been declining for a number of years, suffering from canker, fungal brackets and other defects. Inspections have found they are a risk to public safety and four have been felled previously for the same reason. Work to remove the remaining horse chestnuts is set to begin on 17 February. They will be replaced with sweet chestnuts, a large, robust species known to be resilient to the issues that affected these trees, and for their tolerance in urban environments. Depending on the condition of the felled horse chestnut trees, some of the wood may be recyclable with a view using it for artwork or seating in other parks and open spaces across Reading. Chestnut Walk did not have any pedestrian lighting. As part of the wider Council Improvement scheme, new lighting will also be installed, as well as a CCTV camera to improve security along what is already a popular direct route into the town centre. There was a lot of ill-informed (being kind) opposition on social media to RBC’s well researched rational for having to take this action. One protestor suggested that the diseased trees had to be preserved as they “could have been seen by Oscar Wilde” . This being in 1897 so the trees would have been 123 years lower so hardly likely to have been higher than the wall at best. Simply bonkers!