YEP Letters: February 19

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Anger at felling of ‘fine’ trees on Otley Chevin

Barry David, Leeds 16

I enjoy a brisk walk and close to hand is Otley Chevin, largely a morass of boring conifer/pine trees, but with fine views over Wharfedale and its woodland.

Some 35 years ago I chattled briefly with some forresters about a line of 40-plus young beech trees along the first track running from the Chevin car park - ‘these will be fine trees in 200 years, our legacy to future generations’ I was told. And they are, or indeed were, a joy for hundreds to walk under in spring/summer. The writing was on the wall when Leeds City Council jobsworth attended annual ‘elf n’ safety’ lectures - ‘branches may fall off trees and hurt someone.’ Last year jobsworth ordered the de-branching of the adjacent line of trees on that track, so instead of young lime trees there is a motley selection of wonky totem poles.

Alas the fine young beech trees were not as lucky. First a notice from jobsworth that the trees were ‘dangerous’ (30-year-old beech trees - all dangerous). So this past week the entire line (circa 150 yards) of trees is felled, apparently to be replaced by some young saplings to assuage the scores of angry dog walkers, wrongly told they were dangerous.

Heaven forbid jobsworth takes a stroll to the far end Chevin where there are 200-year-old beeches, all showing signs of wear. I asked two of the workmen if they were embarrassed by what they had done - face down, sheepishly replying ‘we just do as told by Leeds CC.’ Yes, there is a section of pines at the end of the track felled - fine. But it seems that to harvest them, he needs the track with overhanging beeches to get his machinery through, so has simply cut them all down and declared them dangerous!

Yet it was becoming a wonderful, peaceful walk on an avenue of fine trees to the Chevin for hundreds-plus. Now - a line of totem poles to one side and stumps of fine trees t’other. It’s too late to save the trees but my request to the relevant Leeds committee is (a) can you please move jobsworth where he can do less damage and (b) let’s build something for the future - possibly a line of English oaks or weeping silver limes, ideal for walking the countryside for the next 200-300 years and (c) employ people with common sense and real knowledge of trees.

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Time city had a clean-up

Margaret Convey, Moortown

Regarding the letter about rubbish on our streets, having been born in Leeds 73 years ago, I have never seen Leeds looking so run down.

Okay, Leeds city centre will look very good when finished, but what about the rest of the city? There’s rubbish everywhere. Roadworks, cycle lanes. The men doing the roadworks leave cones, barriers everywhere, why don;t they clean up after they have finished a job? What are the bosses of these companies doing to allow this? Let’s have a good clean up Easter and go into spring and summer looking like the good, clean, prosperous city that we are.

Sick of being overcharged

Ernest Lundy, by email

A TV programme recently revealed how insurance companies are making determined efforts to crack down on insurance fraudsters, which they say cost the motorist another £50 a year on renewal; totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Now I am all for that, and applaud them for it.

On the other hand it’s an indisputable fact that they too are not playing the game, by the methods they use when premiums are calculated for young and old drivers.

It’s obvious that when they do so they break the laws of age discrimination with total disregard.

Therefore, perhaps they should make an effort to put their own house in order as a favour to the groups mentioned, who are sick to death of being overcharged for cover, particularly when they are accident and claims free.

It’s always millions

A Hague, Leeds 9

So the University of Leeds plans to build a 1.6 kilometre (one mile) cycle track at their playing fields near Adel and refurbish their Bodington pavilion for £4.5m.

It beggars belief that they can find these millions when all else is still fighting to keep heads above water.

Nothing wrong providing a cycle track for students to use but is the pavilion to be gold plated?

You would think a few hundred thousand would suffice, but no, it’s always millions.

No control over legislation

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

Whatever the outcome of the EU vote in Brussels, the one thing that David Cameron’s lengthy and expensive trips across Europe has shown is that Britain has no control over making its own legislation.

Just to have control of our own borders with regard to immigration, we have to have the support of 27 other nations.

While Britain remains part of the EU, the same situation applies for implementing other important areas of legislation.

We have to abide by laws made by people we have not elected.

YEP Letters: December 16