CORK City Council has responded to concerns voiced about the felling of trees as part of the ongoing works on the Mahon to Marina section of the wider city centre to Passage West greenway project.
In recent days, concerns have been voiced in relation to the destruction of trees along the greenway route.
Labour local area representative Peter Horgan said many people raised concerns about the issue. He said: “Everyone wants to see the improvement works on the greenway but people have been taken aback at the sheer scale of trees taken down.
“We hear a lot about a tree officer being put in place but none exist still. There has to be a full communication plan to propel on why these trees were felled.
"If we are serious about biodiversity, we have to show it. The scale of the cuts to the natural areas is stark.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for Cork City Council said that current work to the section of the greenway is aimed to upgrade the amenity for pedestrians and cyclists while improving the natural environment along the route by encouraging its development as a living, green corridor.
The spokesperson said that the scheme is designed to minimise the impact on the existing natural habitat during construction while also improving the natural environment upon completion of the project.
They also said that ecologists and arborists have overseen the design of the project which will see the planting of 65 semi-mature native Irish trees and more than 2,000 tree saplings to replace the 46 trees that had to be removed to improve access, some of which the spokesperson said were dead trees, trees at risk of falling and poor quality trees.
The project will also see the installation of bat roosting boxes, bird nesting boxes and bee-supporting habitats across the route as well as interpretation boards across the route.
Independent councillor Lorna Bogue said while there were a number of concerns being raised locally by walkers and residents, the work is needed and will benefit the area and the wildlife in time.