Calling all parishioners to help map our treasure!
I have moved to Cold Ash with my family five years ago from another part of West Berkshire, looking for a bit more peace and quiet from ever-expanding urbanisation even in our leafy West Berkshire.
I am always amazed to see green space at every corner of the parish and I have become very fond of dense woodlands with ancient trees and wonderful alleys and pathways lined with old oak trees. As a runner, I get to explore different parts of the parish on foot, often dodging horse droppings but that’s by the by.
As a member of Environment Committee in the parish council, I have discovered new pathways and heard passionate stories from walkers, horse riders and the Greening Group. We have all come to cherish what surrounds us, providing us with a quality of life that we do not get in urban areas – whether that be soggy walks with our dogs in the depth of our woodlands, total darkness that falls at night with clear sky and shining stars, or negotiating the bends along wonderful hedgerows on our bikes.
Whilst our community may benefit and grow by embracing modernisation it is vitally important that we preserve the beauty that surrounds us, lest we lose it forever. Nowhere is this more important than with our trees and hedgerows. I am currently producing a TPO map of the parish to help us be more proactive in protecting such wonderful natural heritage. I would welcome any help with this important task!
I have looked at the online map available on West Berkshire Council’s website. You can find it by going to their website and searching for “TPO”.
By my count, we have about 180 trees with Tree Preservation Orders (mainly concentrated around St Mark’s Church, behind the recreation ground and along Fishers Lane), 5 woodlands (eg. behind the recreation ground, around Pumping Station House, The Ridge), a few TPO groups (eg. along Fishers Lane, The Ridge, Collaroy Road) and a few TPO areas (eg. along Ashmore Green Road, Harewood Drive, The Ridge, Collaroy Glen). These areas are already protected by way of Tree Preservation Order. I invite you to visit this online map and see which trees and areas are currently protected.
In my walks around the parish, I see many beautiful trees and hedgerows lining the main roads, small lanes and pathways and on private properties. I regularly speak with parishioners, most of whom talk passionately about trees in and around their properties that need protecting. This surely is a worthy undertaking, because once they are gone, they are gone and they will not come back in our lifetime, if ever.
I call on you all to tell us about trees and hedgerows that you love and about areas you think deserve protection. We can then recognise these formally and get them protected.
Every red dot on the map matters. Every red dot helps preserve the beauty that we all cherish and helps create a better legacy for future generations.
Please write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cllr Marie Fenner