New trees need water and care

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Karen Lehwald

Chaloner Close, Lindfield

Recently there was an article in Mid Sussex Matters (a free leaflet from Mid Sussex District Council that comes through door) referring to Beechurst Park and the exotic new trees the council have put in, wishing to create an mini arberitum.

They most likely spent thousands of pounds on these trees. What they forgot to mention, was that they have already taken six back out that have died due to lack of water. This was even before the extremely hot period we have just had. Two more have died on site. New young trees need to be watered at least twice a week. These trees have only been watered very occasionally and are struggling. They have lately put some plastic covers on the bases of the other trees which is supposedly to help keep the water in, well in light of the fact there has been no rain until this weekend, and they have not been watering them on a regular basis that’s another waste of money as the horse has bolted.

Some other new shrubs are on the way out by the look of it as well, unless the recent rain revives them. Beechurst is loved by all who walk there but everyone is baffled as to the way it is being managed. A perfectly nice laurel hedge that marks the boundary down the bottom has been taken out because it’s supposedly an ‘invasive’ species (I quote from the person at the council I spoke to when I rang to complain). They plan on taking out the rest of the hedge too. Well that has been left looking a right mess, it was much safer for dogs and the children with the hedge in place and if laurels are so invasive and unappealing, why is it that so many old English houses are called ‘The Laurels’?

The people who use the grounds were perfectly happy with it (myself and the many people I chat to on my walks).

They have also now started removing some lovely old well established trees. Just last week a beautiful cherry tree that was full of bloom in spring. They say they want to educate children about trees, well they need to learn how to look after them themselves first! Plus children can learn about and see hundreds of trees at Sheffield Park and Wakehurst!

However on a plus note we are very grateful for the new benches and if only the dog bins were emptied more regularly we would be very happy indeed. I would like to add this is in no way intended for the great team of people who do the actual hands on work, they can only do what their bosses tell them.

Response:

Councillor Gary Marsh, MSDC Cabinet Member for Service Delivery, said: “The extended period of hot weather we have experienced this summer is fantastic in many ways but one significant down side is that it has created extremely difficult conditions for our newly planted trees.

“We have watered the new trees in Beech Hurst Gardens regularly but sadly some have not been able to survive in the heat and this extended dry spell.

“Beech Hurst Gardens is a unique site because the council owns and maintains it on behalf of a charitable trust.

“The money that is generated by the restaurant and other buildings on site is protected and spent entirely on maintaining and improving the gardens.

“We wanted to create this arboretum to enhance the enjoyment of the gardens for the many people who regularly visit the gardens and we will learn from the difficult conditions we have experienced this summer.”