The retention of mature trees in new residential development is to be positively encouraged for many reasons, including their benefits for wildlife, visual impact, urban cooling and much needed shade, especially important in these hot spells and our mental health and well-being.
Yesterday Helen Kirk, Arboriculturalist and Director at FPCR, revisited Bellway Homes’ new development Berswick Manor at Weeping Cross, Stafford on the site of a former Police Headquarters. Construction was completed Summer 2022. From the outset, one of the main objectives for this scheme was to retain as many of the high quality trees as possible, including some very prominent and historically important specimens most of which are protected by Tree Preservation Orders. The design retained these trees as part of the Green Infrastructure to create attractive new areas of open spaces with connecting footpath links moving through the houses.
FPCR were the appointed Arboricultural advisors from the beginning and directly involved in the planning and design of the scheme, also providing an Arboricultural Clerk of Works role during the construction phases to ensure trees were safeguarded from any damage during site works and organising specialist ground decompaction works carried out by Rob Keyzor Tree Surgeons & Arboricultural Consultants using an Air Lance around the central Sweet Chestnut. The Clerk of Works role involved overseeing the uplift of existing infrastructure on the site and installation of all footpaths near trees. Such footpaths were installed using Cellweb, to ensure minimal future ground compaction and allowing tree roots to function.
The retention and successful integration of these magnificent, large trees has been a key element of the design of this scheme, delivering a highly attractive setting for the new residents and local people alike.