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Unsafe trees felled to make way for residents’ park biodiversity makeover


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Unsafe trees felled to make way for residents’ park biodiversity makeover Unsafe trees felled to make way for residents’ park biodiversity makeover

Around 30 unsafe trees have been felled in Glenard Park in Salthill, but they will be replaced by up to three times that number of native trees which will better encourage biodiversity.

A landscaping masterplan has been unveiled to local residents who have spearheading the project to upgrade the park, which became a massive hive of activity for locals during the lockdowns.

A member of the Glenard Residents’ Committee, Tony Kavanagh, said that so far, the upper path in the park was resurfaced and an anti-slip surface added as well as a second handrail and solar lighting.

Two new all-weather seats were installed where previous benches had been located.

The City Council removed the shrubs at the front of the seats, resoiling the refurbished central flower bed last Christmas.

Under the masterplan, around 30 older trees, deemed to be at the end of their life or unsafe, have been felled.

Between 70 and 100 native trees such as Hawthorns would replace them by next Autumn when it is considered the optimal time for trees to be planted.

“This is very much in-keeping with the theme of rejuvenation of the park as biodiversity-friendly so any planting of shrubs and trees will be native species rather than species considered a nuisance down the line.”

The four-year plan involves building a perimeter path, sowing of perimeter hedgerow and wildflower meadow areas for pollinators.

The picnic area will be upgraded to a hard surface and benches and seating increased. name tags for trees, provision of a community gathering facility with accessible seating, retention of playing areas and additional seating.

The park was allocated €50,0000 in the annual budget to get the project started. But the final cost has yet to be determined. The biggest cost will be the perimeter path around the square-shaped green space.

Mayor Clodagh Higgins (FG), Cllr Donal Lyons (Ind) and Cllr Peter Keane (FF) have all provided funding from their discretionary budgets for some of the work to date.

“There is quite good footfall in the park. The idea is to make it available to all people of the greater Salthill areas and more accessible to the many local people who live within 400 and 500 metres of it.

“Having more flowers and trees in the spring will also help with the pollinators.”

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