Trees un­der threat from road scheme

Alan Titch­marsh cham­pi­ons RHS from the ul­ti­mate ‘gar­den grab’

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More than 500 trees at RHS gar­den Wis­ley could be cut down as part of a ma­jor road-widen­ing ini­tia­tive. Pro­pos­als to widen the A3 at the M25 junc­tion could see a size­able slice of the gar­den dis­ap­pear, and re­moval of his­toric trees, in­clud­ing gi­ant red­wood, and five trees con­sid­ered threat­ened or en­dan­gered.

TV gar­dener and RHS am­bas­sador Alan Titch­marsh is urg­ing ‘the UK’s 27 mil­lion army of gar­den­ers to stand to­gether and pro­tect Wis­ley from the ul­ti­mate gar­den grab’. “We must pro­tect our gar­dens,” he said.

From the two op­tions High­ways Eng­land is con­sid­er­ing, the RHS wants the agency to choose the east, rather than the west side of the A3. The eastern route threat­ens re­moval of a tract of rare, an­cient wood­land.

“The pro­posed ex­pan­sion of the A3 is stuck be­tween a rock and a hard place, with both sug­ges­tions likely to have a huge en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact,” said Austin Brady, con­ser­va­tion director of char­ity Wood­land Trust, which has lob­bied govern­ment about the threat.

A de­ci­sion is due im­mi­nently, with fi­nal plans ex­pected at the end of the year.

Road widen­ing would re­quire the re­moval of hun­dreds of trees and shrubs, in­clud­ing a row of red­woods (be­low and right) Alan stands next to a threat­ened red­wood

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