Tree experts have carried out work at Keswick’s former Pencil Factory to clear damaged or unwanted trees, as part of the landscaping plans for the site and in preparation for the development work to take place.
Two large trees, a purple beech and a common beech, at the front of the former factory have been removed as these are encroaching on the building and will cause damage in future years. A number of other trees around the site are also damaged or in areas where construction work will take place.
Keswick Ministries, which owns the former Pencil Factory, submitted plans for the tree work as part of the application on the site. They will also be introducing a planting scheme to reinstate a wide selection of native trees elsewhere on the grounds.
David Sawday, Chief Operating Officer for Keswick Ministries, said: “The tree work is an important aspect of the renovation of the Pencil Factory site.”
“The work was detailed in our recent planning application although the trees themselves are not subject to planning permission. We have informed the Lake District National Park and Keswick Town Council about the work as we want to be open and transparent about the developments at the site.
“It is also vital that we preserve the woodland feel of the area and are looking forward to getting the planting scheme started in due course. This is an important aspect of refurbishment and the creation of an iconic venue for visitors.”
The removal of the trees will open up space around the pencil factory to enable transformation work to start.
The work is being supervised by SAP Ecology who have identified the trees to take down and will also ensure that no wildlife is impacted in these works.
Sarah Parkin, ecological consultant for SAP said: “All trees and surroundings vegetation is being thoroughly checked for evidence of nesting birds, roosting bats and all other wildlife to insure no injuries occur. Any trees that do have evidence of nesting will not be removed until birds have fledged naturally.”
The tree removal works being carried out by Lake’s Tree Service Ltd.
Over the past few weeks, volunteers and staff have cleared debris, left from the floods in December 2015, from part of the ground floor of the factory. Regular maintenance checks were carried out on the outside of the building to ensure it continues to be secure and safe.
“We are gearing up to start work on the pencil factory building once conditions for the planning permission have been finalised,” Mr Sawday added.