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Leylandi on Salem Field

From Nina Smith

Friday, 3 April 2015

Walking along the river path past Salem Fields yesterday, I noticed that Community Payback were doing work on the cricket club section of Salem Fields.

A supervisor was observed transporting a considerable number of leylandi trees to the site, and by mid afternoon, one had been planted nest the gate by the pavilion. I observed that a trench appeared to have been dug on the far side of the cricket pitch and fear that this will be populated with the leylandi.

Leyalndi are an introduced evergreen tree species, ugly to most people's eyes, commonly used for privacy in suburban gardens, but totally alien in a rural Pennine environment such as Salem Fields.

Assuming they are being planted, who has authorised a public body(the Probation Service) to see such an active as being for community benefit - which is my understanding of the work that offenders on Community Payback are required to do.

From Pete Gledhill

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hi Nina, My name is Pete Gledhill. I'm the Chairman of Hebden Bridge Cricket Club based down at Salem Fields. Thank you for your post/concern.

I also help supervise the Payback team every week. The Payback team only bring tools to do the work that we plan, any materials that we purchase or organise we source ourselves. There has been one tree of that species near our pavillion however it's been there for 10 years or so!

To put your mind at rest regarding the channel that has been dug, this has been created to provide additional drainage for the cricket field along with a boundary edge path.

If someone has been spotted carrying trees on it may well be the lady who keeps chickens etc in the old sewerage work field just past our ground as I know they are using old Christmas trees to provide hedges/protection for their hens.

I will double check that the payback team haven't done something of their own back but I can't see that happening as they work to our specification and I'm there with them for 95% of the time. We certainly wouldn't ask them to do this as we are really happy with our living hedge that we have recently done some maintenance work on,perhaps this is where the confusion lies…

I hope this puts your mind at rest, if you have anymore concerns please don't hesitate to get in touch.