A HILL used by generations of local children for sledging has been ruined by the planting of hundreds of trees, claims a Highfield woman.

Friends of Burgess Fields member Judith Allen is furious Bradford Council did not consult the group before planting saplings.

She said the Friends – who work closely with the council to preserve and promote the playing fields – could have advised on a better location.

Following a meeting with the Friends, the council agreed to remove trees from part of the slope at the recreation ground.

The council also pledged to cut back trees if they grow to obscure the view from houses on Highfield Lane, or benches above the site.

Judith had provided three commemoratives benches in memory of her son Stephen – who died in 2007 in an industrial accident – and two other local men.

Judith said: “The Friends keep the recreation ground safe for all those who use it. We run fun days and we’re involved in the Green Spaces group. But we received no notification that the tree planting was going ahead.

“This is a well-known area for sledging. Kids come from all over the estate. I played on this hill and my kids did, and now their kids – I want it to be safe for future generations.

“I asked if trees could be replanted elsewhere and offered to do it with group members. A compromise was offered, a channel to be taken out, but this isn’t enough. In time it’s going to be a forest.”

Bradford Council this week said the planting was being carried out to help tackle climate change, reduce flood risk and promote biodiversity by increasing tree cover in the district from 12.5 to 19 per cent.

A spokesman said: “Our tree planting efforts have been welcomed by communities and individuals across the district.

“Following a meeting with the Friends of Burgess Fields, we have removed saplings from a section of the slope to allow sledging in winter. The trees on Burgess Fields do not obscure the view at present and we can carry out further sculpting if the need arises.

“We would like to thank the Friends of Burgess Fields for their suggestions in improving the work in the area and we apologise for missing the opportunity to consult with them before the planting started.”

Keighley Central ward councillor Zafar Ali, who had been approached by residents concerned about the potential loss of view, said he hoped the compromise was acceptable.

Fellow ward councillor Abid Hussain said: “I want as many trees to be put up as possible in the district, but we have to find the right places, not on a playing area.”

Another ward councillor, Khadim Hussain, said the Friends should have been contacted to suggest the best place on Burgess Fields to plant the trees.