South Ayrshire Council has introduced a new policy to manage the street trees which run alongside our roads and pavements.
The Council through the Ayrshire Roads Alliance (ARA) has a legal obligation to manage these trees, protecting and maintaining them where appropriate. The new street tree policy recognises the importance of these trees as a habitat for wildlife and the role they play in reducing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. The policy also outlines the procedures for dealing with damaged and diseased trees. At the heart of the policy is the need to protect trees which not only make our streets look attractive but can be invaluable for reducing excess flood water which is taken in by their roots. Under the policy the Council is responsible for: The management of street trees which includes inspections and maintenance to help maintain healthy, safe, attractive and sustainable street trees throughout South Ayrshire. The removal of dead, diseased, damaged or dangerous street trees and replanting replacement and additional trees where and when appropriate. -Ensuring street trees do not obstruct public highways, public footpaths or rights of ways -The policy also clarifies where the Council would consider taking action to resolve street tree complaints or disputes, and where it would not. For example the Council is unlikely to act where trees or branches are blocking views or where there is interference with TV or satellite reception -Members of the public are also reminded that they are not permitted to remove or prune any street trees but are encouraged to contact the Council to highlight any safety or other concerns they have relating to the trees. Councillor Ian Cochrane, Sustainability and the Environment Portfolio Holder said: "I welcome this policy as it clarifies responsibilities and underlines that the Council will not remove a healthy tree unless there are extremely good reasons. "Our green spaces and trees are vitally important to our own health and wellbeing as well as an array of wildlife. Trees improve the attractiveness of where we live as well as helping to tackle global warming, they are invaluable. South Ayrshire is a beautiful part of the world and this policy will help ensure our trees are enjoyed by future generations." The Street Tree Policy can be found at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/parks/treemanagement.aspx