Northampton campaigner replaces spots where former trees once stood with her own creations

Mrs Whitehead has made her own trees to replace where they once stood in her street.
Mrs Whitehead has made her own trees to replace where they once stood in her street.

A campaigner in Northampton has made her own trees out of recycled cardboard boxes to grab the attention of Northamptonshire County Council.

Freelance journalist Alice Whitehead of Far Cotton launched a campaign in January urging the county council to maintain and manage trees in the area to make it a more attractive and healthy place to live.

Alice Whitehead (library picture).

Alice Whitehead (library picture).

After galvanising support she presented a 313-name petition to Northamptonshire County Council in March asking the authority to consider replanting the lost trees - but to no avail.

After months of no action she has hand-made six trees out of recycled cardboard boxes, which she already owned, and placed them where former trees used to be in Penrhyn Road ahead of a Street Tree Tea Party on Sunday (July 15) from 2pm-4pm to raise money for the Woodland Trust.

She said: "I'm putting them in the spots where the trees used to be as a symbolic gesture.

"I think it raises awareness of the street trees. Again, it's easy for them to be over looked with the council being cash strapped. It's a low priority for them.

You're all invited to Alice's event on Sunday where food and donations are welcome.

You're all invited to Alice's event on Sunday where food and donations are welcome.

"When they are deciding the environmental budget I would like them to be of importance."

When Alice moved to Penrhyn Road in 2012 she said there was about 25 trees lining the roads but Far Cotton's tree-stock has gradually dwindled over the years as deteriorating vegetation has been removed.

Now there is only 12 on Penryhn Road, with just one left in St Leonards Road.

A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said: “There are instances where we as the highways authority have to remove a tree for safety if it is diseased or causing structural damage to a nearby property, and it may not be replaced if it is in an unsuitable location.

“Where a tree is taken down the council will look to replace a tree elsewhere but due to maintenance liabilities we do try and ensure that a replacement tree is provided on non-highway land wherever possible.

“We also continue to work with organisations such as Woodland Trust who have funded trees on the highway and over the past few years we have worked together to enable the planting of more than 150,000 trees in the county.”

Northampton Borough Council maintain the highway trees on behalf of the county council.