Residents up in arms over felling of trees

By: Chris Graeme

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LISBON RESIDENTS and environmental groups are up in arms after Lisbon Câmara cut down 97 trees in Lisbon’s Campo Pequeno park. However, the Câmara, which is currently carrying out a 738,000 euro restoration scheme in the gardens, said the trees were rotten.

Furthermore, the Câmara said the trees represented a safety risk for the population, but that the current work on the gardens, which includes planting new trees, will be completed by August. Trees surrounding the famous Lisbon bullring landmark, which was inaugurated last year following restoration work, included jacarandas, olives, planes, lindens and limes.

The Câmara’s Executive Officer for Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces, Cllr. António Prôa, said that it also “hurt” him to see so many trees being cut down. But he said the decision had a technical justification since some of the trees were badly formed, others “were sick” and yet others had been damaged by the reconstruction works on Campo Pequeno.

The Câmara promised that by August there will be 153 new planes, three new jacarandas, five judas olive trees and six lime trees.

Environmental group Quercus called the felling “an ecological crime”, adding that they could not agree with the measure. “We cannot believe that it was necessary to fell so many trees in Campo Pequeno, when in March several trees, which had been originally earmarked for destruction, were successfully transplanted in Praça de Espanha,” said a spokesperson for the group.

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