Tales from the Riverside

   February 2009


  James Thompson, former Nantwich Riverside Project Manager for two

   borough councils, and now Executive Director of Greenspaces South

  Cheshire CIC, is a familiar face around the banks of the River Weaver.

   Here, he tells about the latest events down on the Riverside.

Native trees replace the hybrid poplars







AS many may be aware, throughout Nantwich there was a large number of quick-growing poplar trees planted in the 1970s. These grow at an astonishing rate and are often used to screen things like electric substations, etc.

   The problem with these hybrids in public places such as Nantwich Riverside is that as a result of their rapid growth, limbs become very weak and have a habit of falling off, particularly during summer months, not the best species to have around . . .

  They are also not half as good as our native tree species in providing habitat for bugs and mini-beasts and the birds that feed off them.

   So, we are starting a very slow process of removing these inappropriate trees and replacing them with native species (oak, ash and alder in particular).  In replacing them we are trying to put back some fairly large specimens as landscape features coupled with some smaller ones.

   The start of this process is happening as I write.








  Near the Airmanís Grave, we have recently felled two of the most problematic trees to be replaced with an oak and an ash. The oak was kindly donated by the Nantwich Methodist Church Open House Group.

   We will be able to watch which of the two comes into leaf first and predict the weather for the year. As the old saying goes:

   "Oak before ash, we're in for a splash. Ash before oak, we're in for a soak."

Group replace poplars


FOOTNOTE: Susan Church, who kindly sent me the picture, right, spotted a notice about the necessity of the work, commenting that "obviously a council official was expecting a flood of irate phone calls!"

   Thanks, Sue, but I can assure you that James Thompson always erects a notice about any work carried out in the Riverside and it isn't to fend off telephone calls. Dabber



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