Felixstowe: Tropical trees for the chop as part of gardens improvements

The cordyline trees - Felixstowe's "palms" - which are about to be felled as part of the restoration

The cordyline trees - Felixstowe's "palms" - which are about to be felled as part of the restoration of the gardens. - Credit: Archant

A ROW of Felixstowe’s iconic “palm trees” are set to be felled – because they don’t fit in to the project to restore the seafront gardens to their glory days.

X marks the chop - the cordylines which are to be felled in the Spa Gardens at Felixstowe.

X marks the chop - the cordylines which are to be felled in the Spa Gardens at Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

The trees, known as palms by townspeople but actually a South Pacific plant called cordyline, have been a feature of the seafront for 40 years.

Looking down on the area where the cordylines stand today in the Spa Gardens at Felixstowe - this pi

Looking down on the area where the cordylines stand today in the Spa Gardens at Felixstowe - this picture is believed to have been taken in the 1920s or 1930s. - Credit: Archant

However, five on the approach road to the Spa Pavilion will be axed next week to make way for improvements to the Pram Walk and because they would not be appropriate as part of the restoration of historical features.

But people living in the area are up in arms about the decision to cut them down, and members of the Bent Hill and Seafront Area Residents’ Association are today meeting the team managing the £2.76million lottery-backed renovation to discuss the situation and see if they will change their mind.

Philip Earrey, of the association, said “The first we knew about it was when we saw Xs had been marked on the trees, indicating they would be cut down.

“I think it’s a great shame. These semi-tropical plants have been part of the seafront for a long time.”

Project manager Corinne Cappell said there were about 232 trees in the seafront gardens and 21 will be removed. Most of these were dangerous or growing out of retaining walls.

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Not all the cordylines were being felled, but those on the approach road would be removed to enable the Pram Walk to be extended and improved

She said: “This will improve accessibility so people with wheelchairs, prams and mobility scooters can get all the way from the top of Bent Hill to the Spa Pavilion through the gardens and without going on the road.”

Ground levels would be changed, and the cordylines were also not appropriate in this part of the Edwardian gardens when referring back to the historical setting.

She added: “It will look stunning when it is finished. We are not hacking trees down for the sake of it – it has been considered very carefully.”