ROATH RESIDENTS STAND BY THEIR TREES
Roath Brook Community will carry on protesting the felling of scores of mature trees in Roath Brook and Roath Mill Gardens (Cardiff) by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
Neil McEvoy AM (Assembly Member for South Wales Central)after meeting again with the residents’ group, said that following a resumption of protest actions (at 8.00 a.m.on Monday January 8th) the Minister has agreed to meet the campaigners (January 9th).
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) began felling trees in the popular Roath Brook and Roath Mill Gardens on 20th December 2017, claiming it is necessary for flood prevention. Residents say NRW’s consultation was poor and the full details were only made known just before work was due to begin. Residents also claim the amount of felling was not clear and the reasons for it, the risk assessment figures, changed without explanation.
Neil McEvoy AM commented “The Roath residents are rightly angry at the amount of destruction and felling of trees in their Gardens, which they and their children will really miss. They have good reason to want questions answering. What is the real risk, as no one recalls heavy flooding here in recent memory and does it justify this environmental vandalism?”
The Roath Brook Community group wrote to the Chief Executive of NRW in December asking for a pause in the works so that discussions can take place, but have not had a reply.
On behalf of the group, Roath GP Dr Sion Edwards said “We’re very disappointed that we’ve not had any response from Natural Resources Wales when we asked for a pause. It seems NRW will just carry on spoiling these green spaces which are vital for wildlife - and for us. It’s not even clear the third phase will offer any further benefit for flood prevention.”
Neil McEvoy AM said “The residents around Roath Brook will lose half their park, with trees a hundred or more years old being destroyed. NRW provided flawed data when they consulted with residents, so they should re-consult.
“The way NRW has acted so far raises questions about their approach to consultation and transparency. The Minister (Hannah Blythyn AM) has agreed to meet us tomorrow (January 9th) and I’ll be pressing her to suspend the works. It’s clear to me that there are alternatives to felling all these trees and that NRW should take an ecologically sensitive approach.”
During the first protest, attended by Neil McEvoy, angry residents chained themselves to the park trees. NRW went ahead with the cutting down, including a maple tree “UK champion 2013 tree specimen” on the UK tree registry,Other champion trees await their fate.
Campaigners’ protests drew over 3,600 signatures for a petition and national and international celebrity backing for their campaign, including Welsh naturalist Iolo Williams, celebrity campaigner Bianca Jagger, Wales capped goalie Neville Southall and former Glamorgan cricketer and sports broadcaster Alan Wilkins, who shared pictures with their hundreds of thousands of followers.
Twitter: @RoathBrookTrees #RoathBrookTrees