Trees on Ashburton Playing Fields

Those of you who have been using the Ashburton Playing fields during this lockdown period will have noticed that many of the approximately 50 newly planted trees are looking extremely stressed. I contacted the Council’s Trees & Woodlands office about 3 weeks ago to make them aware of this as we hadn’t seen any sign of the trees being watered during the extremely hot and dry April/May period.

The Officer I’ve been communicating with said that weekly watering would normally have started at the beginning of April, but due to Covid-19, and the new Health & Safety regulations, their Contractor was carrying out urgent work only, meaning things that might be a threat to life.

She said that watering began again in May and is now back on a weekly routine, but acknowledges that many trees may be lost – though they will continue to be watered weekly in the hopes that some will recover next season. She confirmed that any trees lost will be replaced, and also asked if I could let anyone who uses the Playing Fields know what was happening.

Rachel Carr, a local resident, has also written a post about this on the All About Shirley Facebook group.