Shrub removal sparks angry response
GARDENERS have ripped out long-established shrubs which were a haven for wildlife along a cliff top to help prune their budget.Residents are furious at the loss of the plants and say the work has ruined the cliffs in Old Felixstowe.
GARDENERS have ripped out long-established shrubs which were a haven for wildlife along a cliff top to help prune their budget.
Residents are furious at the loss of the plants and say the work has ruined the cliffs in Old Felixstowe.
Nick White, of Roman Way, said the shrubs and bushes had been a feature of the greensward either side of The Dip in Cliff Road for decades.
He said: “I am absolutely fuming. I could not believe it when I saw what was happening.
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“Those bushes were a part of our landscape here and I cannot see that they caused any problems or indeed were costly to maintain. I think the gardeners pruned them once a year to keep them to a reasonable size.
“Now they have been ripped out and are apparently going to be grassed - how barren the area will look.
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“As well as being an attractive part of the area, they were mature shrubs and deep-rooted and would probably have helped with cliff stability, which has been a worry in that area.
“I also know because I walk my dog along there every day that they were full of nesting birds at certain times of the year, and the noise from there was tremendous from wrens, sparrows, chaffinches and, recently, a lot of robins.”
Mr White, a former town councillor, said he would like to know how much Suffolk Coastal District Council would save from the removal of the shrubs.
A spokesman for the council said it needed to save £1million every year and changing a number of areas from shrub beds to grass was part of this work.
He said: “In simple terms, the switch to a grassed areas means less staff time as the area does not need the same level of maintenance or the amount of litter clearance that used to accumulate in the shrubs.
“Altering this service in this way, and it has affected a number of other areas across the district, has generated an annual saving of £34,000 to this council.
“We consulted with both residents and the town council about this proposal and there was support and acceptance from both sides for this change, which we would stress is being done carefully and sympathetically. There is still a good amount of vegetation that will remain untouched.”