‘You’re harming baby birds’ argue Luton residents upset by pollarding

LBC said the lime trees will quickly grow back and the pollarding should ensure no further nuisance issues for a number of years.
LBC said the lime trees will quickly grow back and the pollarding should ensure no further nuisance issues for a number of years.

Upset Stockingstone Road residents are concerned for wildlife after creatures’ homes were “destroyed”.

Residents claim that the council should not have pollarded the trees last week, as nesting season does not end until July 31, putting birds at risk.

One resident said: “I am so angry I can’t speak. The baby birds are still learning to fly!”

A Luton Borough Council spokesman said: “The trees (predominately lime trees), require regular inspection, and have historically been pollarded to ensure they do not obstruct the highway.

“We are also removing basal suckers (annually) which can obstruct pedestrians if not attended to.

“The trees were last pruned four years ago. At that time the pruning work was undertaken to encourage a better tree structure and framework to support a full pollard of the trees within a five year period.

“We received 16 service requests in the last 12 months from local residents asking to reduce overhanging trees in Stockingstone Road, so the pollarding was scheduled for 2017. It is undertaken in the summer due to distance from properties and soil type.

“Contractors undertaking such works first check for any signs of nesting birds.”

But one resident argued: “When pollarding is done on a large scale it is beneficial to do it over a period of years, to give regular nesting birds time to adapt and use nearby trees, and to give any insect life a chance to reestablish!”