Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tree planting in St John Street

By the time I arrived for the midday Eucharist, the large mobile crane and the articulated lorry bearing a 30ft Plane tree were parked in St John Street and being made ready for action. After the service I returned to the street with my camera to record the event for posterity. Most of the time it rained, which I suppose, was fine for the tree. The results are the most recent pictures posted here .

During the hour it took to plant the tree, all sorts of public officials passed by to inspect. Councillors, city centre management team, community police officers, the senior planner responsible - and quite unrepentant. "You've wished a problem on those those who'll come after us" I said. "What don't you want to see trees in the city centre?" He asked. "Certainly." I replied, "in suitable places. Did you consult CADW about the advisability of planting so close to a grade one listed building." "No, we were not obliged to", was the reply. "What price partnership working?" I asked. No response.

He didn't hang around long enough in the drizzle to overhear passers-by commenting spontaneously on the proximity of the tree to the church wall. Those who worry about public order are wondering how long it will be before booze sodden idiots are climbing the tree, swinging on and breaking off branches, while the poor creature is still young and vulnerable.

This is the first of fifty odd trees to be planted around the city centre. I also learned this morning that the sandy soil with which the tree is to be surrounded has come from .... Holland. A tree with its own carbon footprint! All we needed was a tall conifer in a large pot, which could be moveable if it grew out too far. It would have looked great decorated in winter.

The new street lights installed still burn 24 hours a day - they can't yet be switched off because they are not wired into the control mechanism yet. Money no object around here. The one nearest the tree has an attachment just below the lamp. Today I learned that this is a CCTV camera mounting. For the present it will be able to see through the leaf canopy, but once the tree has grown, the camera will end up hidden by leaves, and only able to see in a westerly direction - and catch all the yobbos lobbing pub beer glasses from the Glyndwr into the north churchyard - I wish. So clever.

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