BPT has strong concerns regarding the impact of new development on the Lansdown/Charlcombe ridge. Where once there was a rural ridgeline with merely a glimpse of the single storey MOD buildings, there is now a series of large, brightly rendered houses introducing an urban edge to one of Bath’s most visible green hillsides.
From 2019, BPT worked with the owner of the farmland below Granville Road on a tree and hedge planting proposal to soften the impact of these new buildings. We consulted local residents on planting plans and the potential impact on views. Saplings have been donated by the Woodland Trust and More Trees for B&NES, and funding for protective fencing awarded by the World Heritage Enhancement Fund.
Phase 1 of planting was completed in November 2019 by BPT staff and volunteers. The scheme was put on hold through 2020 due to Covid-19. Nonetheless, the final phase of planting was completed in December 2021, planting 15 trees about 2m high at intervals in the fields near the ridge with the help of City and Guilds horticulture students from Grow Yourself – a Community Interest Company offering training and volunteering in Bath and North East Somerset.
A grand total of 40 trees have been planted, with a mix of species including majestic natives such as oak, beech, maple and lime, as well as wild cherry and crab apple, along with 500 hedging plants in a new 100m hedge. As the trees reach full size – in 50 to 100 years – they will soften the impact of this recent development along the ridge. They will also enhance the green skyline which forms a distinctive part of the ‘landscape setting’ of the city, nestled in the hollow of the hills – an attribute identified as one of the special Outstanding Universal Values of the Bath World Heritage Site. These trees also make a small contribution to the fight against climate change and will help improve biodiversity and sustain a nature positive city.