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Machynlleth Street Trees

Summary

Trees have been removed from the Machynlleth centre integral treescape, and more have been identified for removal (or remedial works). This is because of their failing health and / or safety related aspects (as identified by trained and competent Arboriculturists) despite the trees only being 30 years old.

There is a legal duty under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to replace any felled trees in a conservation area.

Trees have varied multiple benefits and don't just produce timber and wood. They also provide shade; add beauty and amenity value; support other species; enhance our well-being; provide a sense of history, place, and continuity. They increase property values and encourage tourism and are so sophisticated and helpful that through photosynthesis they not only absorb carbon dioxide, but also provide us with oxygen to breathe. Their roots are like sponges, absorbing water so they also help manage surface water and reduce flooding.

Sustainable urban drainage (SUDs) is a fundamental and integral consideration within sustainable development. The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 requires all public bodies in Wales to work towards the goal of "A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change". Sustainable drainage enables a natural approach for slowing and holding back water. Trees and SUDs can work together to provide nature-based solutions as a form of green infrastructure to slow the flow.

Losing trees can be emotive and might feel difficult. We are aware of the multiple sources of value of the Machynlleth street trees as well as our duty and obligation to replace them. We are also aware of the climate and nature emergency and the value trees can play in remediating the problems faced through the extensive range of values they endow. We are also aware that when the trees were originally planted the technology was limited and problems have arisen as their roots have grown and expanded within the changing urban environment.

A funding opportunity has been made available to enable us to grow back the trees in Machynlleth whilst this time harnessing the sophisticated underground growing systems that protect and nourish roots within a contained and safe environment. We want to provide the town with trees for the long-term future, trees that will provide the future generations of Machynlleth with a history that can be filled with the stories of their trees.