Trees: The many benefits
Friends of Onchan Park are very concerned that the sale of the land including the old bowling green, pavilion, tennis court and football pitch for redevelopment into housing will badly affect the local community in many ways. Here we consider the effect of the loss of up to 45 trees, 360 metres of hedges and flower borders.
Flooding risk to the surrounding houses may increase. The air quality may be reduced if the trees are cut down.
The loss of green space and trees which are used directly by many families and children every day and are visible from Oakdale road by passing cars and pedestrians will result in a reduction in mental health and wellbeing and will reduce the opportunity for physical exercise for local residents. (See references).
When the park was first created in the 1950s, the planting was considered carefully and many species of tree and shrub were included. This makes the park attractive all year round for people and animals, with berries and evergreens in the winter, flowering trees in the spring, shade and shelter provision during the summer and colourful displays of leaves and fruits in the autumn.
Trees catch rainwater and allow it to evaporate or flow to the soil or into drains, this reduces stormwater run-off. Trees remove air pollution and store carbon. Trees reduce the effects of extreme temperatures, reducing the need for cooling in summer and heating in winter.
Friends of Onchan Park hope to put forward an alternative option which will allow the trees and hedges to remain so that the community can continue to enjoy and benefit from this tangible asset.
“Green spaces deliver lasting mental health benefits -Green space in towns and cities could lead to significant and sustained improvements in mental health, finds a new study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology.” Uni of Exeter research
“Trees influence both the physical and mental health of local communities.” Trees in the Townscape- A Guide for Decision makers
Wildlife and biodiversity. “Most species of tree are of significant value to wildlife.” The value of different tree and shrub species to wildlife, K Alexander, J Butler and T Green, British Wildlife, Oct 2006.