Haworth residents up in arms about bush pruning

Keighley News: Councillor Angel Kershaw is angry shrubs in the village’s Central Park have been so severely pruned ahead of the Tour visit Councillor Angel Kershaw is angry shrubs in the village’s Central Park have been so severely pruned ahead of the Tour visit

A parish councillor has voiced her anger and disappointment at what she described as Bradford Council’s “devastation” of bushes in Haworth’s Central Park.

Angel Kershaw, of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, said many local residents shared her views, claiming the extent to which bushes have been pruned was “unbelievable”.

“They’ve cut the bushes right back to their stalks,” she said. “The park was looking wonderful, but those bushes won’t be anything like their best by the time the Tour de France comes through.

“We wanted to present Haworth in the best possible light this summer, and it feels like Bradford Council has undermined this.”

Coun Kershaw, who chairs the parish council’s environment working group and is a herself a keen gardener, said the drastic pruning had wrecked important winter wildlife habitat. She said the cutback had been so severe some of the plants might not survive the winter.

But Gill Hill, of the Friends of Haworth Central Park group, said although the bushes had been cut more drastically than she had expected, they should grow back.

“I saw the park at the back end of last week,” she said. “The plants are a little bit lower than I’d expected, but they will recover, and this does help keep the park safer for people.”

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “The council fully understands and appreciates the concerns from recent visitors to Haworth Park regarding the shrub work taking place at the present time.

“The shrub pruning is part of a programme of winter works that was first started in 2005, and has been implemented in phases each year ever since and, as in previous years, we expect the shrubs to recover and re-grow during the spring and summer in time for the visit of the Tour de France.”

However, Sun Street resident, Graham Smith, said he strongly objected to the way the plants had been pruned.

“Bradford Parks has butchered Central Park, cutting shrubs back to stumps,” he said. “The department is trying to justify it by saying it wants to open up the view and make it safer for people to walk, but it’s a real mess. It’s a disgrace.”

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