Work on the next phase of the Roath flood scheme in Cardiff will go ahead next week after it was paused at the request of the Welsh Government.
The Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn, says that after detailed discussions she has been reassured by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) that the scheme is the best option to reduce flood risk for people in the area.
The work will widen Roath Brook at Roath Brook Gardens and Roath Mill Gardens. This allows it to carry more water away from the area.
The scheme has been designed specifically to retain many of the parks’ most spectacular and important trees.
However 38 trees will need to be removed for the work to go ahead. Two-thirds of these (25) are categorised by experts as poor quality, young and easily replaceable, a danger to local people or are expected to die in a few years.
They will be replaced with 41 new trees, up to 5 metres tall, from a range of native and exotic species – retaining the Edwardian character of the parks. More trees have also been planted in the wider community.
The start of the work had been paused to allow NRW and Welsh Government officials to hold further discussions.
John Hogg, Head of Operations for South Central Wales Operations for NRW, said:
“These parks are highly valued by local people and it’s great to see their passion for their local environment.
“We have been able to preserve many of the parks’ most spectacular and important trees by deliberately designing the scheme around them.
“The only trees which we cannot avoid cutting are ones we have to remove to widen the stream to reduce flood risk for local people.
“They will be replaced by similar species, helping to preserve the Edwardian character of the parks.
“These will be up to five metres tall which will reduce the visual effect of the work significantly, help the park recover as quickly as possible and provide a long-tern treescape which future generations can enjoy.
“Flooding can devastate people’s lives and the Welsh Government has given us responsibility to better protect at-risk communities across Wales.
“We have worked extensively with Cardiff Council and people in Roath and Penylan since 2012 to develop this important scheme which will improve protection to 360 homes and 45 businesses in the area.”
Work will restart on Tuesday 19 December.
More information on the scheme is available at www.naturalresources.wales/roath.
People concerned about flooding can check their flood risk, and find out if a free flood warning service is available in their area by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or by visiting www.naturalresources.wales/flooding.