THE avenue of trees in Vivary Park has been felled to plant a wildflower meadow?

Vivary Park is one of Taunton’s unique selling points. It is a well designed and maintained C19th town park an essential element of which is the tree lined avenue.

This idea dates back to the very start of urban recreational space. With increasing numbers of people living in towns a need arose for open air green recreational space.

I suspect the idea of a processional avenue may well date back millennia.

The remnants of an oak lined processional avenue still existed at Glastonbury as late as the 1930s.

What has happened to all the work down on Taunton garden town? Even the idea of creating a garden walk from Vivary Gate to the Tone would have been more creative and less destructive.

READ MORE: Wildflower meadows to be planted on council-owned land across Taunton Deane
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Life is changing rapidly and clearly the economic model we have been pursuing cannot have been sound given the speed at which it is unravelling.

What does appear likely is the desire for travel to far away exotic places will give way to more short-stay visits, for which Taunton is ideally suited.

Now is the time for hard thinking from basics. How do we best maintain the health of our natural environment?

Permanent pasture locks up far more CO2 than trees so we can park the tree planting idea per se.

What is essential is the over-all health of the soil beginning with the microbiome, progressing up the food chain through the insects especially worms to birds and so on.

Lockdown gives us time to do some joined-up thinking. We already have a number of agencies working in this field but what is needed is an overall political steer. It is the job of councillors to do this.

Their job is to give the officers a steer but the thinking must come from the councillors and if they cannot think then they really must listen and do their homework.

Now Taunton’s century-old avenue has gone.

Did this appear in their election manifesto? When was this policy decision taken and by whom and on what professional advice?

I look forward to a supply of blood and bonemeal fertiliser for Vivary Park.

Kingston St Mary