Fringe Box



Letter: Why Was Pretty Castle Grounds Tree Felled?

Published on: 10 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 10 Feb, 2024

The stump of the ornamental plum tree felled in the Castle Grounds

From: M Durant

I was walking the other day in the Castle Grounds and I noticed a beautiful tree that had recently been felled on the left as you walk from the pond to the tunnel that leads to the bowling green It had been there for as long as I can remember.

This picture shows the position of the tree before it was felled.

Also underneath the castle where there are generally flowers, next to the wall, all the bushes have been cut back drastically. The same has happened all around the pond near the bottom gate entrance to the castle from Castle Street. It doesn’t look good, it looks bare not because it is winter but because of the severe cutting back of the bushes, shrubbery and so on.

Clearance of ground cover

Several other visitors noticed the felled tree and the bare landscape. They looked at me and said: “What has happened here? It used to look beautiful! Why was the beautiful tree felled? There is no shade now on the path leading to the castle.”

Couldn’t they replace all the bushes they had cut back and the trees felled with smaller trees and other types of bushes? Or is there someone in charge who really loves their chainsaw and can’t stop cutting back instead of loving a bit of wilderness? (On the whole , the gardeners do a wonderful job; I don’t think they are in charge of this.)

Evidence of hard pruning

Then I went for a walk at the top of Pewley Down where I was greeted by awful long low plastic fences that even if very low obstruct the view, made of green plastic, and were being trampled by dogs with plastic bits flying around.

We have done without them for years, why do we suddenly need them?

Fences on Pewley Down (taken in September 2023)

A spokesperson from Guilford Borough Council responded: “The ornamental plum tree in the Castle Grounds lost a portion of its crown during Storm Isha last month. After inspecting it, our tree officer concluded that it would need to be felled as decay was found in the trunk.

“Whilst the loss of this tree is understandably disappointing to visitors to the Castle Grounds, our gardening team and tree officers are currently exploring options for replacing the trees that have been lost along this section of the grounds.”

Editor’s comment: We understand the the low plastic fencing on Pewley down has been erected to stop ambhibians being threatened by trenching linked to the installation of a new water supply pipe by Thames Water.



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