More Corby trees face the chop as Old Village willows are axed leaving resident weeping

Trees will also come down in Kingswood Nature Reserve with work starting on Monday

By Alison Bagley
Thursday, 11th February 2021, 3:14 pm

Corby has the reputation as one of the most wooded towns in England, but now tree maintenance works have seen the removal of willow trees, with more to follow in another part of town next week.

At least eight large willow trees which once stood alongside in Boon Walk off Stock's Lane in Corby Old Village have been removed and on Monday (February 15) work will begin in Kingswood Local Nature Reserve (LNR) for felling, pruning, crown reduction and general maintenance.

A borough-wide survey had been requested by Corby Council and was carried out in 2019.

Before and after the willow trees were removed

A resident who did not wish to be named said: "I was horrified by the tree felling in Corby Old Village. It's such a beautiful setting with willow trees dipping into the brook.

"It is us that are weeping now as they have been chopped to ground level.

"l am in disbelief at what they have done. These trees were stunning last summer and the wildlife they supported and the flooding they prevented alone make this a criminal act to remove them. It's an absolute disgrace."

An email to the resident from the council's arbicultural development officer explained why the trees had been removed.

The tree stumps

It said: "The trees along Boon Walk had been identified for removal due to the poor condition they were in.

"The trees had unfortunately been topped in the past and the regrowth from the trees was poorly attached, the result of lopping leaves also leaves the trees vulnerable to extensive internal decay of the main stem which would leave them more prone to structural failure.

"The close proximity of willow trees directly adjacent to properties would likely to cause an issue in the future with subsidence damage."

It has been confirmed that the trees which have been removed will be replaced with new planting on the green space along Tunwell Lane in the next few weeks.

The line of trees ran parallel to Boon walk and Tunwell Lane

In a bid to prevent further tree 'failure' the works will begin in Kingswood LNR after the survey also taking in areas of high footfall in the woods of West Glebe and Hazel and Thoroughsale.

The survey looked at the overall condition of the trees visually to identify potential hazards and how severe those hazards might be, and then recommended the work required to fix it.

A spokesman for Corby Council said: "We have to ensure a duty of care is observed by the tree owners and to provide recommendations for any work deemed necessary to prevent failure.

"All recommended works, which include felling, pruning, crown reduction and general maintenance will begin this Monday by qualified contractor, Brampton Valley Training.

"All works shall be carried out in accordance with British Standard 3998:2010 ‘Recommendations for Tree Work’ or EU equivalent and will be completed by April.

"The work due to be carried out is set to greatly improve the environment of each of the spaces. The trees identified are either dead, dying or diseased and are therefore a risk to general users."

Corby Council’s lead member for environment, Cllr Mark Pengelly, said: “Following the thorough report carried out, I am pleased that the necessary work will begin this Monday. Sadly, there is a need for some trees to be felled, which we would always try to avoid. But when a tree is dead, dying or dangerous, we must take the appropriate action in order to keep residents safe.”

Supported through the National Lottery Heritage Fund the essential conservation works are part of the wider Corby Heritage Trail project. This project aims to connect residents and visitors to Corby with our local heritage, both natural and industrial, through a network of fully accessible trails providing green space corridors throughout the borough.