THE trees outside St Stephen’s Church are to be trimmed as the borough council carries out pollarding work on them.
Pollarding is an ancient method of pruning trees to keep them manageable for their location.
Such work is normally carried out in the autumn/winter period while the trees are dormant and consequently can appear quite harsh.
However pollarding will encourage the trees to grow in a healthier manner come the spring as well as keeping them at a safe height away from any overhead cables, street lighting and the church building.
Councillor Brandon Clayton, portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “This work may appear quite brutal but come spring we’ll start to see the benefits of the pollarding process.
“The work is essential for both the health of the trees and the safety to our residents.
“By doing this to half of the trees this year and the other half in coming years, we will prolong the life of these particular trees for many years to come.
“We thank residents for their patience whilst the work takes place and apologise for any inconvenience.”
Town centre chaplain and vicar of St Stephen’s, Rev Paul Lawlor, said: “The work being done is good practice to ensure the health of the trees and to improve the environment.
“Pruning is a good thing for trees and for us – perhaps as we journey into 2019 there might be things that we should prune in our lives!
“To lessen the impact 50 per cent of the trees will be done this year and then remainder next.
“We had a tree pruned at home and it was a shock when it was first done but a season later all was well.”