This morning Grassmarket locals and their supporters dropped banners from trees within the square in protest of the councils plan to fell them, as part of a proposed gentrification of the area.
The trees in question are a mix of London Planes, Poplars, Ash, and Norway maples. Residents are enraged as the council had previously indicated the trees would only be removed if they posed a danger to public safety, however at the most recent public meeting it was revealed the true nature of the plans.
The residents have repeatedly tried to compromise with the council and had constant dialogue with councillors and planners in order that the area can be transformed whilst holding on its unique character.
The trees have been growing in the site for around 60 years and have a further life span of around 20-60 years, yet the council claim the trees should be replaced “We have a budget now to plant new, healthy trees but we can’t guarantee that there will be funding later.”
Local residents are furious that the council have repeatedly argued that the trees are only in fair condition for their age yet the report also states “Little or no arboriculture management appear to have been carried out in recent years.”
Residents argue that with the right management the trees could live on as they are and be replaced if need be in the future. The trees in the Grassmarket not only act as a carbon sink they deal with massive amounts of rainwater run off due to their position, replacing these trees in a time of increased rainfall would be madness as young trees are not as effective as mature trees in this role.
Local environmental activist Dave said “It is important that trees are seen as more than aesthetical decoration, each individual tree supports it’s own eco-system and their ability to absorb pollution and capture carbon are of increasing importance in this time of climate uncertainty. The council, if they were to meet the concerns of the people, would be increasing the number of Grassmarket trees not cutting them down.”
For more information on the campaign to save the Grassmarket trees contact email@example.com