Sir John Square Trees in Thurso

News broke in March that plans were afoot to remove the trees surrounding the Sir John’s Square in Thurso, on the grounds that they were unsafe. Despite this central area having been gifted to the people of the town in the 1870s, no consultation with or consideration of their views appeared to have been sought. This suspicion is born out by a petition started by two local women which quickly received almost three thousand signatures, or one third of the town’s population.

Now the John o’Groat Journal is reporting (not online) that an external environmental assessor has recommended a staggered removal of the trees over several years. The petition organizers remain unconvinced, as the main argument for the tress being unsafe seems to be a hypothetical that any tree could fall down, rather than an admission that most trees do not.

After drastic ‘pruning’ was attempted a few years ago with a similar lack of public consultation, an attempt was made to plant replacement saplings to the inside of the perimeter. I am told, though, that insufficient effort was made to bed these saplings down, with no super-loading of fertilizer and water or a long trench being dug so to loosen and aerate the soil. Instead, small holes were dug and the saplings dropped in.

As such, their growth has been stunted.

Public meetings are promised on the eventual plans.


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