Resident anger over lost trees – but golf club defends replacements

BARDWELL Valley Golf Club has been criticised by residents fed up with the club cutting down the trees around its greens.
Nanjing Night Net

A group of about 10 residents met with the Leader to discuss their concerns.

Lyn Stewart, of Bardwell Valley, said she estimated almost 100 trees had been ripped out in the past year.

“It is horrendous. The worst of it started about 12 months ago, but now the residents are all up in arms,” Ms Stewart said.

Steven Wu, also of Bardwell Valley, said he had written to the golf club and the council to find out why so many trees were being removed.

“I don’t know what this golf course is doing,” Mr Wu said. “All they do is chop things down.”

Golf course superintendent Ben Evans said the club was removing weed trees, such as privet, along with weeds such as lantana, and replacing them with native species.

Privet and lantana are classed as noxious weeds by Rockdale Council which requires them to be either managed or removed.

Mr Evans said his club’s efforts to improve the environmental values of Bardwell Valley by removing such weeds were being hindered by “halfwits” who had no idea about plants.

“Sadly these lantana-loving enviro-nazis believe these weeds are desirable,” Mr Evans said, although he said the club had got a bit “gung-ho” last October when it had removed five casuarinas.

But after being reprimanded by the council, the club had replaced these trees at a ratio of five to one.

“We’ve also planted nearly 650 native grasses, 150 ornamental plants and about 50 or 60 trees such as lilli pilli and bottlebrush,” he said.

A Rockdale Council spokesman backed Mr Evans’s claims, saying that the club had removed “noxious weeds” that had overwhelmed the native trees.

The spokesman said an on-site meeting approved the golf club’s activities and an inspection of the works would happen next Thursday.

However, Mr Wu said there was little evidence of trees being replaced and often only large trees were replaced by tiny seedlings.

“If you chop out privet, then you should replace it,” Mr Wu said.

“This is the only green [area] in Rockdale.

Should the trees have gone?

Not happy: Bardwell Valley residents are upset with Bardwell Valley Golf Club for chopping down trees. Picture: Jane Dyson

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