Tree work Grange cemetery

Waiting for an internal review by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Birgitta Kuhlmann-Muller

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Mancoed has started felling trees in Grange cemetery. Some of them had a high potential of bat roosts and bats have been recorded in the area.
Photos of felled high potential bat roosts in Grange cemetery have been provided to WBC ; additionally the Merseyside and West Lancashire bat group ( MWLBG) has voiced concerns / given advice.

1. Who is responsible for a bat survey prior to the felling? WBC or Mancoed?
Did anybody carry out a bat survey before the felling took place?
If yes, who, when and with which results?

2. How will WBC proceed now with the remaining trees within the woodland and the wider cemetery which were destined to be felled?
Will WBC take on board the advic given by MWLBG to only pollard even deadwood?
Will WBC leave deadwood standing if there is s no / low risk for residents?
What is the minimum hight deadwood can be left standing?

3. Will WBC work together with residents and take their observations into consideration?
If yes, how?

4. How will WBC prevent further damage in case some bats are still in torpor in the hollow trunk or crevices? As people have already started to harvest the timber, some bats ( if they have survived) still might get injured during that sawing process.

5. When will WBC start implementing the new tree strategy and plant 4 new trees for each felled mature tree in Grange cemetery? Will the replacement trees be planted at the same location?
Who will plant them and which variety?

Yours faithfully,

Birgitta Kuhlmann-Müller

Dalton, Chelsea, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Ms Kuhlmann-Muller,

 

Thank you for your recent FOI request, submitted under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. Please see our responses alongside your questions
below:

 

1. Who is responsible for a bat survey prior to the felling? WBC or
Mancoed? Did anybody carry out a bat survey before the felling took place?
If yes, who, when and with which results?

Our contractors undertake assessments of every tree worked on to determine
if roosting birds or bats are present, following the process defined in
the micro guide (BS 8596).  They have full and thorough environmental
procedures that fulfil all relevant legislative requirements.  Work shall
not be carried out on trees found to have these present.

 

2. How will WBC proceed now with the remaining trees within the woodland
and the wider cemetery which were destined to be felled? Will WBC take on
board the advice given by MWLBG  to only pollard even deadwood?

Will WBC leave deadwood standing if  there is s no / low risk for 
residents? What is the minimum height deadwood can be left standing?

All work that has been identified on the tree risk surveys shall be
completed as soon as practicable.  Where appropriate (based on the
condition of the tree and its location) we are trying to leave as much
standing deadwood in-situ as possible.  Our contractor has also been
instructed, when leaving standing dead-wood (termed ‘monoliths’), to carry
out coronet cuts and work that creates natural tears on the remaining
tree, which are some of the recognised arboricultural conservation
techniques in order to improve and create habitat.  However, when dealing
with dead elms, these are generally of a smaller trunk diameter and will
become unstable quite quickly so these are felled and chipped.  As much as
possible, in the less formal and woodland areas throughout the district
cut wood is left as habitat piles and chippings are also left on-site,
spread throughout these area.

 

3. Will WBC work together with residents and take their observations into
consideration? If yes, how?

The draft tree strategy is currently out for public consultation up to
December 20^th, and all comments and input towards this are welcome.

[1]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

 

4. How will  WBC prevent further damage in case some bats are still in
torpor in the hollow trunk or crevices? As people have already started to
harvest the timber, some bats ( if they have survived) still might get
injured during that sawing process.

Our contractors undertake assessments of every tree worked on to determine
if roosting birds or bats are present, following the process defined in
the micro guide (BS 8596).  They have full and thorough environmental
procedures that fulfil all relevant legislative requirements.  Work shall
not be carried out on trees found to have these present.

 

5. When will WBC start  implementing the new tree strategy  and plant 4
new trees for each felled mature tree in Grange cemetery? Will the
replacement trees be planted at the same location? Who will plant them and
which variety?

The draft tree strategy is currently out for public consultation up to
December 20th, and all comments and input towards this are
welcome.[2]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

 

 

I trust this assists you with your enquiries.

 

You have the right under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
to ask for an internal review if you are dissatisfied with the information
provided to you. Please direct any request for an internal review to
[3][Wirral Borough Council request email] and your request will be allocated for
review.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

 

Chelsea Dalton

Information Management Officer

Business Management - ICT

Treasury Building

Argyle Street

Birkenhead

Wirral

CH41 1AH

Tel: 0151 666 5201

[4][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

PLEASE FORWARD ALL FOI RESPONSES TO [5][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

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References

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1. https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...
2. https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...
3. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
4. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
5. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]

Birgitta Kuhlmann-Muller

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Tree work Grange cemetery

Please see my new comments below your response.

1. Who is responsible for a bat survey prior to the felling? WBC or
Mancoed? Did anybody carry out a bat survey before the felling took place?
If yes, who, when and with which results?

WBC :Our contractors undertake assessments of every tree worked on to determine
if roosting birds or bats are present, following the process defined in
the micro guide (BS 8596). They have full and thorough environmental
procedures that fulfil all relevant legislative requirements. Work shall
not be carried out on trees found to have these present.

BKM : Your answer to my question obviously is : the contractor is responsible for a bat survey / assessment.
However : I believe that Mancoed did NOT follow the process described in the micro guide.
They even didn't know that the felled sycamore had high bat roost potential and made very unknowledgeable comments about bats.
Can you please provide me with evidence that the assessment had taken place as you claim?
You didn't answer my question when the assessment took place, by whom execatly and with which results.
Please provide me with written evidence - as my conversations with Mancoed and observations are contrary to your claim.

2. How will WBC proceed now with the remaining trees within the woodland
and the wider cemetery which were destined to be felled? Will WBC take on
board the advice given by MWLBG to only pollard even deadwood?

Will WBC leave deadwood standing if there is s no / low risk for
residents? What is the minimum height deadwood can be left standing?

WBC :All work that has been identified on the tree risk surveys shall be
completed as soon as practicable. Where appropriate (based on the
condition of the tree and its location) we are trying to leave as much
standing deadwood in-situ as possible. Our contractor has also been
instructed, when leaving standing dead-wood (termed ‘monoliths’), to carry
out coronet cuts and work that creates natural tears on the remaining
tree, which are some of the recognised arboricultural conservation
techniques in order to improve and create habitat. However, when dealing
with dead elms, these are generally of a smaller trunk diameter and will
become unstable quite quickly so these are felled and chipped. As much as
possible, in the less formal and woodland areas throughout the district
cut wood is left as habitat piles and chippings are also left on-site,
spread throughout these area.

BKM :What does " as soon as practible" mean in regards to time and contractor?
A FOI in June revealed that the contract with Mancoed would finish on 30th November.
Who is WBC'S tree contractor now?
What do you mean with " leaving standing deadwood in situ when appropriate"
Who decides re appropriateness?
Is there a link to criteria for appropriateness?
Have residents been consulted?
Have appropriateness criteria changed after WBC declared a climate emergency?

3. Will WBC work together with residents and take their observations into
consideration? If yes, how?

WBC :The draft tree strategy is currently out for public consultation up to
December 20^th, and all comments and input towards this are welcome.

[1]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

BKM:I didn't mean the future tree strategy. I mean whether WBC consult with residents and friends groups before any major felling work takes place in their area.
Do you take resident's local knowledge ( and ecological surveys) re trees, birds and bats into consideration or do you rely only on the arboriculterist / survey?
Do you consult with Merseyside and west Lancashire bat group - as this didn't happen before the felling started at Grange.

4. How will WBC prevent further damage in case some bats are still in
torpor in the hollow trunk or crevices? As people have already started to
harvest the timber, some bats ( if they have survived) still might get
injured during that sawing process.

WBC:Our contractors undertake assessments of every tree worked on to determine
if roosting birds or bats are present, following the process defined in
the micro guide (BS 8596). They have full and thorough environmental
procedures that fulfil all relevant legislative requirements. Work shall
not be carried out on trees found to have these present.

BKM: Your response doesn't answer my question.
Your contractors left the felled trees with high bat potential on the ground.Members of the public have started to harvest the timber.
If bats were injured or are in hibernation, they might get killed now by further action.
How des WBC prevent that?

5. When will WBC start implementing the new tree strategy and plant 4
new trees for each felled mature tree in Grange cemetery? Will the
replacement trees be planted at the same location? Who will plant them and
which variety?

WBC:The draft tree strategy is currently out for public consultation up to
December 20th, and all comments and input towards this are
welcome.[2]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

BKM : I can't find answers to my question in the tree strategy draft.
Can you please answer my questions?

Yours faithfully,

Birgitta Kuhlmann-Muller