Herne Bay Memorial Park's diseased tree avenues to go

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More than 100 horse chestnut trees are to be removed from a Kent park after they were found to be diseased.

Canterbury council will remove seven of the trees from Herne Bay Memorial Park in 2013 because of safety concerns, and will take out the rest over 10 years.

The horse chestnuts were to be replaced with ash, but this is more likely to be hornbeam after the recent ash dieback outbreak, the council said.

Inquiries showed the trees had bleeding canker and mould chestnut leaf.

'No known cure'

Some also had decay.

Suzi Wakeham, the council's head of community development and outdoor leisure, said the decision to remove the trees had been taken with reluctance.

"Nobody wants to see trees taken out but sadly we have little choice," she said.

"Disease has set in and there is no known cure for either bleeding canker or mould chestnut leaf."

She said the council would be working with the Friends of the Memorial Park, local schools and community groups to shape the park's future.

Ideas being considered include art commissions in the park, using the wood to create play equipment, and getting schools involved in planting new trees.

Chairman of the Friends of the Memorial Park Dick Eburne said the horse chestnuts were planted in avenues nearly 100 years ago as the main feature of the park.

He said the news was sad, but the group understood the trees needed to be removed.

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