Local News

Mt Barker Council Defends Ancient Tree Felling

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The Mount Barker Council has defended its decision to chop down ancient trees to pave the way for a sporting complex.

Four old River Red Gums were felled on Monday 4 November with local resident and Gardening Australia host Sophie Thomson expressing dismay about the move in a viral social media post.

"...this is not the decision of the arborist who was fighting to keep the trees, its the lack of flexibility of the project managers and a largely apathetic council who were not prepared to fight for the trees," Ms Thomson wrote in her post.

In response, the Mayor of Mount Barker, Ann Ferguson, said there have been multiple opportunities for the community to look at and respond to plans for the Regional Sports Hub project online and in a series of public meetings.

Mayor Ferguson said while numerous design attempts were undertaken, the space required for playing fields meant there way no way around lopping the trees. 

Sophie Thomson wrote in her post that the trees were felled "all for the sake of moving a driveway 20 metres", however Mayor Ferguson said this is inaccurate.

"We took one tree out for the driveway and that was right at the very entrance at the beginning of the property. The others were taken out to provide for soccer pitches," Mayor Ferguson said, adding that the council has planted 45,000 trees in Mount Barker in the past four years.

Photo of the tree felling in Mt Barker supplied by Sophie Thomson from her Facebook post