Fury as trees and bushes 'butchered' in city park

dozens of healthy trees in a Glasgow park have been "butchered", it has been claimed.

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Opponents of the tree-felling say the trees have been butchered
Opponents of the tree-felling say the trees have been butchered

Council workers say they cut the shrubbery and vegetation in Kelvingrove Park, at Kelvin Way, as part of a "tree management" programme and as preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

But local people and park users say the sight of tiny tree stumps, which leaves litter exposed, is "abysmal".

There are also concerns over wildlife after the area was used as a nesting place for wrens and other birds.

Campaigners are calling on the council to stop its removal programme and investigate the process.

Daryl Tayar, who stays in the West End, walks through the park every day. The 47-year-old, who works at Glasgow International College, said: "You wonder why they would do something like that.

"It's been given a crew cut. There is no reason for it.

"The habitat in these wooded areas has been devastated. Trees and shrubs have been butchered and all the bushes and plants uprooted or cut to ground level.

"If they want to cut it back they could do it selectively."

Graeme Bald, 62, who lives close by, said it was an embarrassing sight for people visiting the city and gave out the wrong message.

He said: "In the year of the Games, when we have lots of visitors coming to the bowls, they will not see a beautiful city, they will see an abysmal view.

"Glasgow is meant to be proud of its green spaces."

Eric Kay, 64, an Evening Times Street Champion and West End resident, said: "I think it is driven by funding.

"The council is spending money in the city and making parts of it beautiful, but I am afraid some things are done in a rush and with no thought.

"We have asked what the council's strategy is for the removals but no one seems to tell us.

"For those of us who use the park all the time it seems to have come as a bit of a shock."

Campaigners are in talks with councillors and charities, including the RSPB, which supports the conservation of birds, about how to get council bosses to rethink the process.

Mr Tayar said: "It was described by the RSPB in a report as a wren nesting ground.

"It is the wrong time of year to be cutting back - this is the time when animals are nesting."

An RSPB spokeswoman said: "Birds and other wildlife need areas to shelter in and, from late March onwards, it is nesting season.

"We ask people to be aware that there may be nesting birds in shrubs, and hedges and avoid pruning and cutting at this time of year.

"Bird nests and eggs are protected by law, so it is a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy a nest of a wild bird."

A council spokesman said: "The tree management programme at Kelvingrove is due, in part, to preparations for the Games (where lawn bowls and road race events will be staged) but also to complement the significant investment from Glasgow City Council in the refurbishment of key landmarks such as the Kelvingrove Band Stand, The Kelvin Way Bridge and the Lord Roberts Memorial."

Martha Wardrop, Green Party councillor for Hillhead, said: "I have to object strongly to any further works to take away vegetation. It is not necessary."

rachel.loxton@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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