Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Operational Services said:
“In 2019 we set out an ambitious plan for Ellington Park in Ramsgate, in partnership with the Friends of Ellington Park (FOEP).
Following extensive consultation with the community plans to renovate the historic bandstand; restore the best features of the original 1893 Joseph Cheal landscape scheme; improve play facilities; and provide a much needed café and toilets were approved.
“Work began on the bandstand in the summer of 2020 and in autumn we broke ground for the café. Part of the work to restore the Joseph Cheal landscape scheme involved a thorough analysis, and the advice of tree surgeons, arboriculturalists and landscape architects which noted over 20 trees in the park that were diseased and within the final five years of their lifespan. Many of these trees were at risk of storm damage, where falling boughs create a potential risk to life. These potentially dangerous trees were marked for removal and many more younger trees will be planted across the park to replace them.
“In December, a number of individuals attended the Ellington Park site to express their concern about the removal of trees and all works were halted. Following a meeting held on 5th January, attended by the Leader of Thanet District Council, myself and other elected members, representatives from Ramsgate Street Trees as well as the Ellington Park project team and FOEP, it has been agreed that the plans for tree removals and planting will continue as proposed.
“The new trees will not be saplings. The plan is for ornamental cherry trees* that will be 4 to 5 metres tall, weigh around 300 kilos and will be mechanically lifted in and planted by an experienced landscape contractor.
“We recognise that trees are an important part of the local ecology. Any decision to remove them is not taken lightly. At the meeting the project team shared information about the need for these particular removals, how trees fit into the overall masterplan for the park as well as details of the final planting scheme. I’m pleased to confirm that everyone agreed that these works were for the benefit of the ecology environment and community. As a result works will now proceed without any further delay to the project.”
Project overview: thanet.gov.uk/ellington-park-regeneration-scheme/
The project Masterplan in full.
*Prunus avium Plena is an ornamental cherry tree. It is a double white flowering (April – May) variety of our native wild cherry tree and has been in cultivation since the 1700s. It holds the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award for Merit.