Thousands of trees planted along NDR have died, council admits
PUBLISHED: 11:34 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:43 06 December 2019
Archant Norfolk 2018
About a quarter of trees and shrubs planted along the route of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road have died - and more than 3,000 trees must be replanted, council bosses have admitted.
Norfolk County Council blames the death of so much foliage on the hot summer of last year, but critics of the road have questioned the maintenance which was done after initial planting.
Some 6,000 trees were chopped down to make way for the road, also known as the Broadland Northway, but the council pledged to plant five for every one removed.
However, the council has confirmed a quarter of foliage planted since 2016 has died and its contractors Norse have just started planting to replace the trees and vegetation which did not survive.
A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: "Our contractors are about 80pc of the way through the overall planting plan for the Broadland Northway.
"When complete, by spring next year, 30,000 native trees will have been planted - which is approximately five trees for every one removed during construction of the road.
"The planting will also involve over a quarter of a million native species of shrubs and hedgerow plants plus meadow mixes of wildflowers.
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"Unfortunately, due to the unusually prolonged dry periods over the summer - and the impracticalities of watering - approximately 25pc of the planting has died.
"However, we started the current planting season about two weeks ago, which will include replacing the 'lost' plants."
The council said that would be completed by Christmas.
Tony Clarke, from the Norwich Cycling Campaign, obtained documents and invoices about the tree planting scheme using the Freedom Of Information Act.
And he blames a lack of maintenance after the trees were planted - along with the way they were planted in gravelly soil.
Mr Clarke said: "I think, from the documents I obtained, and my own observations, that it is more like two thirds of foliage which has been lost."
He questioned how much extra the need for replanting would cost taxpayers.
The county council said it could not state how much more it would cost, but said it would not send the NDR cost above the estimated £205m.