Trees which had been planted as protection against children entering a river in Hendy have been allegedly destroyed by contractors working for the County Council. That is the claim of local resident Steve Lloyd-Janes. The trees were planted in 2010 by student volunteers. They planted willow trees along river bank only to see them mown down by ride on mowers in 2013. In 2014 a bank was made to allow planting of new trees with the idea that a ride on mower would not be able to mow them down so easily. Over 300 trees were planted along a stretch of river bank.
The idea was that the trees would ease river bank erosion and form a tree lined hedge which would improve safety when people were walking and playing near the river bank in Hendy Park.
Resident Steve Lloyd-Janes contacted Llanelli Online to say that contractors with strimmers had decimated 85% of the trees planted by volunteers. He said, “In one morning they wiped out another three years of volunteering of students, and planning and growing of trees.”
He continued: “These trees were funded by the Woodland Trust a registered charity and planted by Tidy Towns another charity and volunteers from Coleg Sir Gar.”
Some residents took to social media to air their views.
Beth Carlisle said: “Typical of the waste we see in UK the left hand doesn’t now what three right hand is doing ! Makes me wonder how good is the training the staff on ground and Park maintenance are getting ? Gutting for the volunteers and the trust who provided them.”
Dan Pea Snaith said: “Sorry Steve, only saw a couple of those before, didn’t see the damaged ones. That’s beyond negligence, is that CCC grounds maintenance?”
Caroline Rees said: “Its disgusting time and money wasted how many more trees are they going to destroy.”
Steven Johnstone said: “It was the welsh river authorities Steve Lloydjanes, I saw them cutting down trees on the other side of the river bank that had overgrown and had a machine with tracks which was driving over the trees which had been planted to get access to the river.”
Llanelli Online contacted Carmarthenshire County Council The head of waste and environmental services Ainsley Williams said: “This was accidental damage caused by our staff whilst undertaking grounds maintenance work in the park and we apologise to the local community for this. We will of course replace everything that has been damaged and will be planting about 30 saplings in the autumn.”
Na Griffith MP said: Sadly it happened once that the County Council sent in mowers and mowed down what had been carefully planted but now it has happened a second time after volunteers had constructed a bank so a mower would not go over the trees. It was people actually using hand strimmers. Is it the fault of the County Council who did not give instructions properly to the contractors or is it the fault of the contractors who did not follow those instructions properly? They have protectors around them and they can’t possibly be mistaken. The volunteers and Woodland’s Trust all want answers as to why these trees have been mown down in a matter of seconds.”