Wedgwood is proud to be the owner of 281 acres of land at the Wedgwood Estate in the village of Barlaston. We are responsible landowners and take our estate management obligations seriously – these include the management of several thousand trees across the estate. We employ the services of a Chartered Arboriculturalist to advise on all aspects of tree care and based on advice received, we regularly prune, re-plant and sometimes, where there is no other option, we are obliged to fell dangerous trees that pose a significant risk to the public and/or highways. The twelve Hybrid Black Poplar trees in question, seven of which are immediately adjacent to a public highway and five alongside a lakeside footpath, were cited in a report dated 14 August 2012 as requiring removal within a twelve month period as they have “reached the end of their average safe useful lifespan and will continue to shed large branches on an ad-hoc basis rather than fail within their stems”. Both the Forestry Commission and Stafford Borough Council are aware of the situation and agree with the action taken. A continuous and ongoing re-planting programme was instigated many years ago to insure against the possible long term removal of roadside trees and as a consequence the tree-lined aspect of Wedgwood Drive has been maintained with mature trees now thriving in this area. Also of note, we have this year planted an additional nine Willow trees around the lake to replace storm damaged trees, together with an additional 20 Oak trees for the enjoyment of future generations. This tree felling is in no way related to proposals to redevelop the Wedgwood Estate and, as would have been seen in last years public consultation, there are no plans to develop in this area.