Sunday, 5 September 2010


The hot topic of Jesus Green's trees has once again arisen.

The city council are currently consulting people on its long-term plans for the trees.

In short, there are proposals to chop down a lot of trees, including the horse chestnut trees on Victoria because they are said to be diseased. More controversially, there are also plans to fell the cherry tree avenue - about 20 years old - and replace it with new trees as it is felt the cherries are reaching the end of their lives.

Here is a copy of a Cambridge News article which sums up the issue very well. Below is the council's invitation for people to have their say, which must be done by September 10.

Iconic trees could be cut down after plans to take a chainsaw to Cambridge’s riverside parks were unveiled.

Options on the table for Jesus Green and Midsummer Common could see all of the horse chestnuts along Victoria Avenue chopped down immediately and replaced, and the cherry tree-lined avenue which runs diagonally from the lock to Park Parade razed ahead of the planting of small ornamental trees.

Another option is to replace the trees when they become unsafe.

Jesus Green and Midsummer Common are popular beauty spots but many species are randomly mixed and there is a risk of disease.

Peter Constable, chairman of the Jesus Green Association, said he was opposed to the removal of healthy trees for the sake of uniformity.

He said: “If it was decided to fell the trees, it would be a disaster – the green would look like a shorn sheep.

“The real beauty is in the present and the historic planting, which is what we should be trying to preserve and maintain.” Some £50,000 is available for planting in the coming months and also to plan the area’s long-term future.

A further option for Victoria Avenue is to fell alternate trees now and replace them, while young trees on Midsummer Common’s riverside path could be cut down and replaced with willows and black poplars.

Leylandii next to the tennis courts could be felled and replaced with limes, while copper beech trees on the edge of Park Parade could also be swapped for limes.

Leylandii next to the lido might be exchanged for a hedge, and willows could replace mixed species next to the Fort St George pub, and mixed trees to the west of Victoria Avenue between the river and Jesus College could be swapped for a single species.

Willows and limes could be planted on the Jesus Green towpaths, while Midsummer Common could get more trees to screen the new Brunswick School development and the public toilets.

There is not enough cash to implement all the options now so bosses at Cambridge City Council wants to hear what people’s priorities are.

Changes which are not implemented straight away could guide work over the coming decades.

Alistair Wilson, green space manager, said: “It’s often easier to manage a landscape if you have a long-term vision for it.

“We are trying to make a landscape for the future that recognises the heritage of the site.” Mr Constable described the cherry tree and horse chestnut avenues as “beautiful”.

He said: “The idea is to have a strategy that as trees are felled they are replanted.
“We should be exhorting people to have their say and avoid the chainsaw option because there are other options which are clearly better and would achieve much better results.”


The City Council has recently published proposals for new tree planting at Jesus Green and Midsummer Common.

Trees have an enormous positive impact on the city’s landscape, and we know it’s important to get tree planting right so that these important sites remain attractive and welcoming to residents and visitors.

We aim to restore the historic planting layouts, removing species that are not appropriate for the spaces, and providing a long-term, sustainable management solution for the trees.

This questionnaire is accompanied by a map of the locations concerned and we’d welcome your views on our tree management and planting proposals. In each question, we’ve left space which you can use to expand on your answer or give us more feedback.

You’ll find an electronic version of the survey on our website if you prefer to respond in that way, or you can just send us comments direct by emailing You can also respond by post or fill in a form at our Customer Services Centre or at one of our exhibitions.

Please see details at the end of this form.

Please respond by 10th September 2010.