The BBC has reported that 50 trees in a Leicester park has been chopped down to improve the route to a war memorial.
The felling of the trees in Victoria Park was part of a plan to restore the link between the Arch of Remembrance and the park’s gate and has been described as “devastating”.
The Friends of Victoria Park said it was not “obvious” how many trees would be lost when it was consulted.
Leicester City Council said all the trees would be replaced as part of the £1.8 million Centenary Walk project.
Work to create a new, tree-lined processional route from the Grade I-listed war memorial arch to the park gates, both designed by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, began in March.
Mags Lewis, of the group, said: “When you look at the scale of the devastation it does look pretty stark… people are quite shocked.
“There was a consultation several years ago, but I don’t think people felt it was completely obvious so many trees would be lost.
“Although the council has said it will replace one tree for a new one, it’s going to be years before we see the benefits.”
Bryan Stafford, project manager at Leicester City Council, said: “With all the trees around this area, it was quite difficult to see the war memorial from inside the park.
“[Cutting the trees has] made a big difference, but I think it has been a shock for people.”
Defending the decision, Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, said: “While the loss of any tree is regretted, this was fully discussed with the group in Victoria Park and very warmly welcomed by those who care and love the special park.”
The redevelopment is due to be completed in 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.
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Image courtesy of the BBC