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Then. . . The avenue of mature trees that led off Old North Rd to the original homestead on Elloughton. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Claire Allison

The felling of the avenue of trees that led to the original homestead on Elloughton, off Old North Rd, has been met with sadness.

Elloughton was originally settled by the Hall family in the 1890s, and then eventually sold to the Grant family, who built a new homestead, now Elloughton Gardens rest-home.

“I think it shows that we need to perhaps look at our cultural landscape and make sure it’s adequately protected.” – Joy Hall

Joy Hall said her family had always looked on the lovely avenue of trees with respect, so she was saddened to returned to Timaru one day recently to see they had been felled to make way for new developments.

While she did not know how old the trees were, the family owned a copy of a William Greene painting which showed the avenue of established trees leading to the homestead. Mr Greene arrived in New Zealand in 1874, and died in 1925.

Mrs Hall said she understood the trees did not have any protection in the Timaru District Council’s district plan, and their loss served as a reminder to local people about the value of such plantings.

Now . . . What’s left of the avenue of trees that flanked the driveway to Elloughton, the original Hall/Grant homestead. Now felled. PHOTO: CLAIRE ALLISON

“I think it shows that we need to perhaps look at our cultural landscape and make sure it’s adequately protected.”

Mrs Hall said she understood there needed to be a balance between the historic value of trees such as those felled, and the commercial needs of a developer, but she was sad it apparently was not an option to save some.

A Timaru District Council spokesman said there was a formal process to apply to have trees identified as significant under the district plan, and few had been added in recent years.

A standard evaluation system was applied to assess factors such as the size of a tree, the importance of its position, the occurrence of the species in the district, the form or shapeliness of the tree and any historic importance associated with it.

Anyone wanting to find out about having a tree or trees added to the district plan should contact the council’s parks and recreation department.

If a tree is identified as significant in the district plan, a resource consent is required to remove it.