Council branches out to supply nine festive trees for communities

Council branches out to supply nine festive trees for communities

by Tom Martin (November 2021)

SEFTON Council has provided nine living Christmas trees to be placed in towns and villages across the borough.

The local authority's Communities & Neighbourhoods officers have been working hard to ensure as many areas of Sefton have access to their own festive firs.

Nine trees, all sustainably sourced, will be lit up and decorated in host of festive themed ways as the borough comes together to celebrate its first 'normal' Christmas since the start of the pandemic.

New living fir trees have been installed in Melling and Birkdale, complimenting the already embedded trees in Crosby Village, Litherland, Hightown, Hillside, Seaforth and Thornton.

Although the council say they are trying to spread festive cheer, the tree in Birkdale Village was criticised by many local residents and Birkdale Civic Society, who said they were “heartbroken” with its appearance.

Four other community owned trees, in Crosby Village, Crossens, Marian Square and Southport (Bispham Road), will be illuminated thanks to funding from Sefton Council

Sustainable, cut tree will also be installed outside Bootle Strand Shopping Centre and at the Bootle Canalside site.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: "Every year around the start of summertime our hard working Neighbourhoods teams begin to put plans in place to ensure Sefton is a Borough of Christmas joy.

"What follows is six months of hard work, continued engagement and planning with the aim of ensuring that our communities Christmas trees are not only something to be proud of, but also contribute to  protecting our planet, supporting sustainable forestry, as well as remaining cost effective.

"An incredible amount of work goes into this project and we always ensure we keep sight of our shared goal of making Christmas special for everyone in Sefton.

"Site visits, ground and aerial surveys, changes to highway layout and then the creation of a pit or housing for the tree all needs to be completed before a tree can be installed and this takes months of work. I am proud of the efforts our teams put into this each and every year and we continue to look at new ways of sustainable Christmas tree provision.

"In cases where a cut tree is installed, we have a duty to ensure that it is sourced sustainably, will continue to contribute positively to the environment while in situ and, most importantly, new saplings are planted in is place for future generations.

"We take great pride in delivering as grand a Christmas as possible for our communities while being constantly faced by a number of different challenges. It is a testament to our team's hard work and ongoing dedication that every year we continue to deliver festive trees in time for the holidays and numerous switch-on events.

The living tree project, which began in 2017, was part of a widely praised sustainability plan to ensure communities had access to a Christmas tree which would develop and grow within its adopted surroundings.

Work is now underway to reassess the living tree project and explore a number of sustainable options now available to the local authority which will guarantee sustainable and eco-friendly tree provisions for the 2022 holiday period.


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