A campaign to save trees in Armley is gathering momentum as Network Rail’s tree felling scheme is “put on hold”, writes Jo Cadell.
Councillor James McKenna (Lab, Armley) informed residents at the Armley Forum on Tuesday that Network Rail’s vegetation management in Armley is currently on hold.
Councillor McKenna went on to say that the campaign may not have won and may not win but “we are still fighting.”
He welcomed Fiona Blair, a woman he described as “amazing”, who is an Armley resident and founder and passionate co-ordinator of the Armley Trees campaign, to talk more about the campaign.
Fiona told the forum how her concerns for the local enviroment were initially raised when Network Rail began felling trees on the lineside on Armley Park Road, a scheme they had failed to fully inform residents of.
Network Rail had given passenger safety as a reason for the tree felling. But Armley Tree campaigners – while agreeing passenger safety is important – do not feel this has been balanced with the impact on the local environment.
They pointed to the health benefits of trees in mitigating pollution and the lost of habit for wildlife.
Some of the trees felled were mature and Cllr McKenna pointed out that it takes 30 years for a tree to grow to the point where it can reduce C02 emissions.
Support for the campaign has grown in numbers with local residents meetings taking place, coverage from the Yorkshire Evening Post and West Leeds Dispatch and the campaign has received assistance from the Woodland Trust.
With the assistance of other organisations, Armley Trees has managed to make contact with senior members of Network Rail, and are hoping to organise a proper meeting with them.
The current hold on further works by Network Rail is seen as tentatively positive.
Closing the topic, Councillor Mckenna addressed the forum, who voted unanimously in support of the campaign, stating that it is “a campaign we need to be involved in” and anyone who can do anything to help should do.
To find out more, visit the campaign website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campaigners meeting today
Today sees another opportunity for local people to come together to find out more about the Armley Trees campaign.
Campaigners will be meeting at where Armley Park Road meets Armley Park (next to the grey metal fence) at 3pm on Sunday 24 November.
They will update attendees on what is happening so far with their ongoing discussions with Network Rail and listen to people’s views.
Leave our trees !!!!!!! #Armleytrees