Bio-diversity, Habitats Lost As Parks Are Tidied

UK local authorities are felling trees and clearing undergrowth in city parks, citing risks of crime and litigation, but in doing so, they reduce the variety of species and habitats in the parks which are vital to city dwellers.
July 28, 2004, 6am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"Over-cautious local authorities are tidying up urban parks because dense undergrowth and spreading trees are perceived to offer shelter to criminals and prostitutes. Mark Johnston, an arboriculturalist who has been aware of this trend for 10 years says "We could face urban landscapes with very few trees and shrubs. If there are trees, these could resemble lollipops, with small compact crowns to cause minimum obstruction and tall thin trunks that no one could hide behind." Yet the figures show that these green areas are less crime-prone than city streets. Clearance is bad for birds, insects and wild mammals, because it deprives them of a place to eat, roost, hide or breed; it could also restrict children's development by sanitising wild spaces which they used to explore."

Thanks to Judith Eversley

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Published on Monday, July 26, 2004 in The Guardian Unlimited
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