Talgarth activists rally to safeguard group of town centre Walnut trees

Friday 11th February 2022 7:00 am
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Cllr Powell with other tree savers
Local campaigners gather at the Talgarth Walnut trees - originally planted in 1976, as part of the landscaping scheme of Talgarth CP School (Supplied by Cllr William Powell )

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Crunch time is now approaching for a group of much loved town centre trees in Talgarth, following a Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) consultation.

The consultation was to confirm a Tree Preservation Order on four Walnut trees adjacent to the now demolished former Talgarth CP School site, together with a cluster of Silver Birch trees. All are sited  on School Lane, Talgarth, on the approach to the town’s historic Grade 2 listed St Gwendoline’s Church.

A temporary order was made by BBNPA in August 2021 to protect the trees, when local residents became aware of the threat to the trees, linked to a Powys County Council Housing development proposal.

Local Mum and environmental campaigner, Sarah Griffiths, reiterated her opposition: “It’s appalling to think that at a time of global climate crisis, the preservation of trees - particularly those which hold such significance to our community - is not at the forefront of planning.

“Considering the principles embodied by the Future Generations Act here in Wales, and Powys’ Wellbeing Plan, it seems like utter laziness to disregard the importance of preserving these well-established, important trees. I urge National Park Members to do the right thing by Future Generations, whilst there is still time.”

 The consultation closed in October and the order to confirm the TRO is being considered by the Planning, Access and Rights of Way Committee at its regular meeting next Tuesday, February 15.

Any concerned residents should contact the Chief Executive of the National Park by email: [email protected] or by post to the BBNPA Headquarters.

The Talgarth Walnut Trees
Talgarth’s Walnut Trees (Supplied by Cllr William Powell )

Commenting on the impending decision, Cllr William Powell said: “I know there was an emphatic response to the consultation, with support for the TPO’s confirmation coming from Talgarth Town Council, local activists and residents.

“Professor Mary Gagen of Swansea University’s School of Geography, a national authority on urban trees, remains in touch with our campaign and will be waiting on the outcome.

 “I remain optimistic that, with an imaginative approach to the now cleared site, and a readiness to reconfigure the layout of the site with sensitivity, a much needed, high quality council housing development can be achieved, whilst retaining these trees.

“Critically, this will also safeguard the adjacent Yew tree, in the grounds of the historic house known as Trebowen, which is also within the Talgarth Conservation Area.”

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