Here are views of Camberley that will disappear this week

Knoll Walk in Camberley is set for a makeover this coming week, as announced Surrey Heath Borough Council. See HERE. In the makeover they say,

From Monday 18 March 2019 Knoll Walk, the walkway into town opposite Camberley Theatre, will be closed as it is cleared and prepared for the works.  This will include the removal of the existing trees which have grown too big for the space, these will be chipped onsite and taken to Lightwater Country Park for use on the paths.  New more suitable species of trees will be planted as part of the new scheme.  This section of works will take approximately four weeks.

Knoll Walk is not one of the unloved parts of Camberley. It’s flower beds have been well maintained. The reasoning for the makeover is not strong in my opinion, which they say is that it,

…. will have better pavement and road surfaces and pedestrian prioritisation, making it much easier for you to shop and enjoy this part of Camberley town centre.

Odd, given that it’s already solely for pedestrians, has existing bench seating, and perfectly adequate pavement surface. I wonder whether one of the reasons for the opening up of the vista from the High Street to Knoll Road, is to highlight Camberley Theatre. Nothing wrong with that aim, but why not say so. Maybe I’m too much of a cynic.

The artist’s impression of the makeover indicates that there will be a large tree at the end of the Walk near Knoll Road. I wonder the Council could afford such a mature tree. It’ll be interesting to see what native trees are planted. I imagine they won’t be spiky like a Holly or Hawthorn, It’s my bet that they’ll plant fastigiate hornbeam. Good but unexciting. I’d like to see planted are Crab apple varieties.

My final point is that the two large evergreen trees near the High Street should be pruned and retained. It’s most unlikely that the new trees – from the artist’s impression –  will be either evergreen or that large. These trees maybe non-native trees, but there’s nothing wrong in that – See Natives v Aliens. Should you want to read more on the topic of treescapes, then HERE is good.

4 thoughts on “Here are views of Camberley that will disappear this week

  1. Tim, you will know that I mentioned that these trees are non-native but that was not the reason for me being relaxed about their removal. They have outgrown the space and much better trees could be planted in that area. I think the best that could be done is to plant a hedge of berry-bearing shrubs along the wall, or maybe ivy. This would give cover, and fruit and flowers. My preferred trees would be varieties of Rowan, particularly the non red fruit varieties, your crab apples and some flowering cherries.
    If there were still house sparrows in the town I would say that a dense hedge of hawthorn or even privet would be good but these all need managing and the present trees show what happens when trees are not managed.
    If annual, or seasonal planting is going into the beds, then there are some good choices for bee friendly plants rather than the usual sterile alternatives which we usually see.
    Like you I doubt that there will be such a large tree in the finished project, in the same way that the high street will never look like the other pictures of the public realm improvements.

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  2. And the huge lamp-post (if that is what it is) in the centre of the view has disappeared from the artists impression, wonder if that will happen, somehow doubt it.

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  3. A well judged comment Bernard. I agree that the trees have out grown their space. I would like to see one of the large ones retained, subject to judicous pruning. Once a large tree is felled, there’s an empty space, to be replaced, no doubt with small sapling. Should they leave a tree stump it’ll be a sad reminder of what’s been lost.

    I also agree that Rowan trees would be a good choice. It’s an opportunity to plant rarer types of tree such as a Mulberry or Wild Service tree.

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  4. I very much doubt a mulberry would be welcome in that setting, especially near a seat, have you seen the stains you get from mulberry fruit?

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