Urban Green Newcastle’s tree maintenance programme

Nurturing and protecting Newcastle’s parks and allotments is something we take great pride in at Urban Green Newcastle.

Every member of staff has a genuine passion for ensuring our green spaces are safe, welcoming and vibrant places for people to enjoy. That’s why we regularly assess the health of our trees, plants and shrubbery.

Since taking on the management of Newcastle’s parks and allotments in April 2019, we have completed a review of the trees in our parks to identify those that require immediate care and attention. Working in consultation with Newcastle City Council to align with its Tree Strategy, we have assessed more than 10,000 trees across our parks and allotments. We have also advised the Forestry Commission of our plans and they are providing advice.

Trees, like all other living things, can suffer from disease and unfortunately nearly 100 of our trees have been found to have hazardous levels of decay, requiring major works or removal.

The parks affected are: Armstrong Park, Brandling Park, City Stadium, Denton Dene, Elswick Park, Exhibition Park, Heaton Park, Hodgkin Park, Jesmond Dene, Leazes Park, Nuns Moor Park, Quarry Park, Sugley Dene, Tyne Riverside Country Park and Walker Park.

In a woodland setting, we could leave diseased trees to come to a natural end and contribute to the ongoing ecology of the area. Unfortunately this is not possible in areas such as our urban parks, and where trees are presenting an immediate danger. In such situations we must prioritise the safety of you, our park users.

In the coming weeks we will begin work to remove these trees and we understand this may be distressing for some, particularly those who visit the affected parks on a regular basis.

We want to assure you this is the most appropriate course of action. Tree maintenance of this kind is vital for the overall health of our parks and the safety of the people that use them.

We will make sure that all parts of the tree are put to good use, such as timber for park benches, or firewood. And where appropriate, we will leave some logs and branches on the ground to decay naturally as this provides valuable habitat for insects, birds and fungi.

Urban Green Newcastle has committed to planting at least two new trees for every diseased tree we remove, ensuring our parks remain vibrant and beautiful places for people to enjoy today, and long into the future too.

We’ve spoken to local Friends’ groups to ensure members of the local community are aware of the work we are doing, and importantly, why.

Jane Hayes, Friends of Heaton and Armstrong Parks, said: “Whilst it’s always disappointing for trees to come down, we do understand why this work is taking place; it’s sad, but necessary. It is positive to know more trees will be planted to replace the ones we are losing. Overall, we’re pleased to see the progress in Heaton and Armstrong parks.”

Sue Stokel-Walker, Friends of Jesmond Dene, said: “The Friends of Jesmond Dene welcomes Urban Green Newcastle’s planned tree maintenance work within the Dene. As a steep sided wooded dene, trees play a major role in the visitor experience and have to be managed for safety and habitat value.”

If you have any questions or concerns about the works outlined above, please contact us by emailing info@urbangreennewcastle.org

Kind regards
James Cross, CEO, Urban Green Newcastle