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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 12:21 GMT
Axe falls on tree planting scheme
Woodland (generic)
The States says it will continue to monitor the tree population
A planting scheme which has led to 200,000 trees and hedges being grown in Guernsey, is being axed.

The scheme was set up 13 years ago after the island's tree population was decimated by Dutch Elm disease.

Landowners were given the chance to have trees planted on their land for free, but the initiative has cost the States 70,000 a year.

The decision by the States to axe the scheme has been criticised by the island's Men of the Trees charity.

Environment is looking to make a cost cutting of some 0.5m over the next two years
Bernard Flouquet, Environment Minister

Spokesman Bob Paine said: "Guernsey is very dependent on its natural surroundings and its beauty for tourism and just for everybody's wellbeing who lives here.

"The fact is trees have to be planted continuously. Guernsey hasn't suddenly changed from being a wealthy island to being a destitute island and it seems to me this is a soft target."

Environment Minister Bernard Flouquet has defended the decision, but said parishes would continue to monitor the island's tree population.

He told BBC News a shortage of cash was looming and savings had to be made somewhere.

"Environment is looking to make a cost cutting of some 0.5m over the next two years or so and this is just the start of it I'm afraid," Mr Flouquet said.

"There are a lot of other initiatives we're looking at in a costing exercise and when they come up I'll be notifying the public as I'm doing now."


SEE ALSO:
Minister loses faith in Treasury
09 Oct 05 |  Guernsey
Nuisance trees may face the chop
26 Jan 05 |  Guernsey
Nuisance hedges tackled
11 Aug 00 |  UK News


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