Residents and visitors to the park this year will have observed a significant improvement to the infrastructure, the state of the trees and the undergrowth. Sevenoaks District Council has continued the work it commenced in 2015, over the last couple of months replacing dilapidated fencing with substantial chestnut post & rail and clearing much of the accumulated debris from the lakes. Our regular Residents’ Work Parties have made great inroads into those areas that had become totally overgrown and we have great hopes of keeping things under control this year.
Mostly the improvements have been welcomed. However, particularly in respect of tree work, there has been some criticism. Tree surgery is always contentious but is an essential part of proper arboreal maintenance. In the case of our park, nothing had been done for years and action was well overdue, so it is not surprising that the result is especially noticeable. In particular, the island in the north park. We consulted the District Council about this and received the following explanation:
“The island was cleared as the trees that had established were very dense and so in poor condition, all had died back from the tips and others were completely dead and were regularly adding to the lake debris. They have been coppiced so we expect them to regenerate during the summer and by this time next year should be 2 to 3 foot high (obviously not the ones dead at ground level). There was a mixture of Alder and Willow so replanting is not necessary. Also there would have been no point in clearing the lake debris with those trees still in place so it was the ideal time to deal with both problems at once.”
In the pictures We show BEFORE and AFTER photos of the island. It seems clear that some major work was necessary, the copse of trees had grown so big it was well out of proportion to both the island and the lake. Light has now been let in and, while the result is currently somewhat gaunt, the copse will soon recover and its management will be easier.