STAG Steering Group notes: 7 April 2020

1. Amey continuing to work during the “lockdown”

1.1 Concerns were expressed about Amey continuing to do various non-essential work during the “lockdown” period. This includes working practices that allow for no social distancing, two people in the same van, etc.

1.2 There have also been instances of felling dead saplings. STAG have no issue with the fellings as such. However, these are clearly non-essential work and it wouldn’t be a problem to leave them for another few months.

1.3 Paul Brooke and Christine have therefore drafted a letter to send to the Council expressing STAG concerns. 

2. Street Tree Strategy Update

2.1 Christine and Paul S gave an update on the latest Street Tree Strategy meeting, which was held on Friday 3rd April.

2.2 The Strategy work is now moving into the delivery phase. Steering Group members confirmed they were content for Christine and Paul S to continue to sit on the Delivery Group for the Strategy for the next 12 months.

3. Legal Work

3.1 Paul S had volunteered to take on the legal work as sole lead. Regrettably he no longer has the time to continue this at present owing to workload issues in the day job and elsewhere. 

3.2 Therefore the legal work has now paused, with nobody else able to take it forward at this time.

4. Tree Disease Symposium

4.1 Caroline has had to cancel the face to face Symposium she had been arranging with Jeremy Barrell and Ian Rotherham because of the current lockdown.

4.2 It is possible she may be able to rearrange something virtually after September. Plans are far enough advanced, and people keen enough, that she really does want to take it forward when it is safe to do so.

5. 1000 Oak Trees

5.1 It had been noted from Facebook posts that various tree nurseries are having to destroy 750,000 unwanted 2 year old oak saplings because of Covid19 and the lack of fulfilled government orders.

5.2 One nursery is selling off batches of 1000 saplings for £200. It is not accepting smaller orders and, if not bought in the next week, they will be destroyed.

5.3 Following debate on the Facebook page and discussion at Steering Group it was decided that STAG would buy a batch of 1000, for sale/gift in November 2020 Tree Planting Week.

6. STAG Facebook Group moderators

6.1 The moderators are feeling under pressure both because of the current situation and because of all the non-tree posts on the STAG Facebook Group page (lots of Covid19 issues and 5G conspiracy theories).

6.2 They recommended changing the posting rules, so that posts only go live if a moderator approves it. Steering Group accepted the recommendation.

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