The redwoods are felled, farewell to the shade…

“…and the whispering sound of the cool colonnade” wrote Cowper, reminiscing over the loss of his favourite trees. Well almost. Bit of artistic license taken with the species so as to fit the recent felling of a favourite group of trees in Bristol; a group of Giant Redwoods, grown from some of the first seeds ever brought to this fair country and recently felled by Bristol City Council. There’s a photoset of the sad event on Flickr and a letter eloquently recalling personal experiences of the trees as well as their history here. The plan for Ashton Court states:

“It also requires 11 redwood trees to be removed to restore the original panoramic views from the Mansion garden. At least 150 new trees will replace those that need to be removed.”

So some cultural heritage is destroyed in favour of some more ‘important’ cultural heritage. Some tangible trees removed for the sake of an aesthetic view. Take a group of kids, any group, and show them the view. Watch them be underawed in the extreme. Then show them some pictures of a Giant Redwood from the USA and explain that the reason they can’t go and time how long it takes to run around a living, breathing specimen hundreds of years old is because the council planners thought a view from the garden is more important.