Healthy growth in Causeway

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FURTHER to the coverage in the County Times, as the district council’s cabinet member with responsibility for parks and green spaces, I was most concerned to read the disquiet caused by the recent landscaping works in the garden area at the top of the Causeway in Horsham.

It may be helpful to explain that one of our objectives is to ensure that visitors have a positive experience and impression of our town.

It is important that the view of the Causeway, Horsham Museum and Visitor Information Centre was not impaired by overgrown vegetation and therefore it was decided that some modest pruning and cutting back would be undertaken.

As the initiative developed, it became clear that several shrubs had entirely had their day and needed to be removed, while others had to be ‘stooled’ to encourage strong and healthy future growth.

This is part of the normal requirement for maintaining our award winning green spaces, of which we are most proud.

The council’s expert tree officer also considered it prudent and cost effective to combine the works with some essential safety works, since two of the trees planted in the 1980s had developed structural defects which needed attention in the short to medium term.

It was felt that it was better to allow one nearby tree to have the available space to develop naturally in this small area, rather than allow the trees to grow and then face a much bigger problem later on.

The council’s landscape team is about to carry out some replanting of the area with some attractive new plants - this was always to be part of the project.

Winter pruning always looks more severe and the shrubs will grow back in the spring.

It would be lovely to see more before and after photographs published in the County Times in early summer next year to demonstrate the longer term enhancements to this small yet important green space.

JONATHAN CHOWEN

(Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) cabinet member for arts, heritage and leisure, Horsham District Council

North Street, Horsham