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Felled ... Some of the poplars lost along the Ashley River, photographed by a local resident before their removal by ECan. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By DAVID HILL

Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon has voiced his disappointment over a lack of communication over the felling of 500 trees near the Ashley River.

While he accepts the reasoning behind their removal in the Ashley Rakahuri Regional Park near Cones Rd, Mr Gordon has contacted Environment Canterbury (ECan) to raise his concerns.

“It is ECan’s responsibility, but I am disappointed that they went ahead without communication with our Greenspace team or the Rangiora-Ashley Community Board.

“We normally have very good communication with ECan, but I am disappointed about this incident.

“We can’t change what has happened with the trees, but what I can and will do is discuss this with the chair and acting chief executive of ECan to seek an assurance that, as a council and community, we are better kept in the loop on future projects.”

Mr Gordon said he became aware of it only after a member of the public alerted him to a social media post.

ECan said the trees were felled because of flooding risks, with many of the trees in poor health.

Local resident Diane Grant has added her voice to the chorus of disapproval over the loss of the trees.

“That area was such a beautiful, peaceful place to go to and walk, and sit in the shade in summer.

“I felt devastated when I realised what they had done and the trees stood no chance.”

She says she does not accept ECan’s reasons.

“One tiny risk is reduced (and this is debatable) versus a daily joy to residents.”