By John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporter.
Bath and North East Somerset Council has apologised after cutting down a hedge in a small park by mistake, leaving residents and sparrows upset.
Locals have been left upset after a hedge was cut down in a small council-owned park — apparently by mistake.
The small hedge at the edge of St Saviour’s Road Little Park in the Larkhall area of Bath was razed to the ground on Thursday April 13 to the dismay of local residents.
The council said removing the hedge in its entirety was an “error” and has apologised. The parks team will now return to plant new shrubs over the next two weeks.
Gail Davies, who lives on a street by the park, said she used to know all the birds in the hedge. She said: “It’s very upsetting. […] You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till its gone.”
But she added that the parks team who were tasked with removing it were “lovely” and said: “They were baffled as to why they were meant to do it.”
Local councillor Joanna Wright “came running,” she added. Ms Wright contacted top council officers about the removal of the hedge and said it was clear the wrong information had been passed on.
Ms Wright said: “To some, the removal of a hedge might appear a small think but for so many in the Larkhall community, it was a piece of nature where the nature met in the form of sparrows gathered in its branches.
“We know that bird populations have fallen due to lack of habitat and the removal of this hedge is just one less space for them. The lens we make decisions by needs to focus on nature recovery and this did not happen.”
She added that it was “poor management” by the council during a climate and ecological emergency.
Chris Major, the council’s director of Place Management said: “The planned work at St Saviour’s Open Space involved removing an old fence and some vegetation. This was to prevent it getting too high to block visibility into the park and prevent encroachment onto the path where it had become something of a litter trap.
“Unfortunately more of the hedge was removed than planned and we apologise for this error.
“Our parks team will now return to plant 5m of native/wildlife friendly shrubs which can be maintained by ecologically sensitive means (coppicing) to encourage fruits and flowers and to provide better cover for birds. The planting will be carried out in the next couple of weeks.”
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