Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The lovely White Mahogany tree is gone. Who is to blame?

Suddenly there is a flurry of media attention about the tragic loss of this lovely white mahogany tree behind 83 Beecroft Rd.  But the time for all that activity was at the JRPP on 18 September last year, where I and a very few others pointed out to the JRPP members how lovely the tree was and how it should be protected. 
The developers argued that the tree couldn't be seen from the road, but we pointed out to the JRPP that when the module is developed there will be a public open space opening out to where that tree stood.  Shoppers and residents in the Module public open space would have that tree standing proudly before them, to inspire generations to come about the beauty of, and the importance of preserving, such wonderful natural resources.
Inevitably however the developers outnumbered the objectors, and the JRPP duly found in favour of the developers and eight months later the tree is gone!  Why did the media start protesting a few days before the tree was chopped down?
Instead of wringing your hands in belated anguish, check the Tuesday, September 16, 2014 post on this blog and ask yourself why you didn't go to the JRPP to plead for this magnificent tree.  Instead of bemoaning the fallen tree stumps, ask why the campaign to save the tree didn't start for six months after the original JRPP ruling.
Similarly the Rural Fire Service's infamous 10/50 rule continues to allow almost any tree that blocks an owner's view or future development to be removed with no need even to pretend that it was a fire risk.  Despite endless muttering and media articles nothing is even in prospect to remedy this self imposed evil.  If asked, most politicians agree that places with no significant fire risk should be exempted, and even fire specialists agree that solitary trees are a greater fire risk than solid masses of trees acting as wind breaks.  But a year after 10/50 was introduced nothing has changed.  Check the BCCT post on this topic dated 13 August 2014 optimistically assuming something would be done to control the madness.  Ten months later all the best trees have gone.
Let's see if we can do better with the proposed concreting of the Malton Road wild life corridor.


  1. Actually Save Beecroft & Cheltenham Alliance started the campaign to save the Patron Tree of Beecroft in early 2014 after we met with Graham Ross (who told us it may go). We had a banner made of the Patron Tree of Beecroft & used it at our event "Replant our Heritage, Secure the Future" on the 5th April 2014 ( Beecroft Memorial Park). We aslo fought for 81 Beecroft Rd & brought the attention of these two issues to our local papers (the Northern Districts Times & th Monthly Chronicle).

    1. The problem in Beecroft & Cheltenham is the apathy of the conservative mind.