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Trees felled in Victoria Esplanade to be used for Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery

Wednesday March 22 2017

Some large exotic trees will be felled in Victoria Esplanade tomorrow (Thursday) and used as building materials for the new Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery project.

Artist's illustration shows people walking among buildings and aviaries set amongst trees in a park.

Visitors to the wildlife rehabilitation centre will be able to get up close and personal with endangered native birds.

The trees are located near the old Esplanade Education Centre. The trees and the building are being removed to make way for Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery; which will become New Zealand’s only dedicated native wildlife recovery facility, with purpose built aviaries and a physiotherapy ward.

The tree felling will take three days to complete.

"We’re asking visitors to the Esplanade to take care, particularly when the arborists are at work. There will be cordons around the site so please respect them," says Palmerston North City Council Senior Property and Parks Planner Aaron Phillips.

The trees will be milled and the timber used as building materials for the project.

"We need to build a large number of perches for the new aviaries. The wood will also be used to create beautiful exterior cladding for a new education centre sponsored by Powerco."

Mr Phillips says the project partners recognise that some of the exotic trees have been part of the Esplanade for a long time.

"We’ve worked really hard to keep the old cedar and oak trees but in the end they must be cleared. The exotics are simply too big to fit inside the aviaries and there is also a greater risk from predators if those trees remain.

"The old exotics will be replaced by native varieties which are more in keeping with the natural habitat of the wildlife."

The tree clearance work is being carried out for free by Treescape New Zealand.

"Our company is proud to be providing its expert staff and equipment to a community project committed to protecting our wildlife," says Treescape New Zealand Business Manager Kevin Birdsall.

The project is a collaboration between the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust, Massey University, Palmerston North City Council and Rangitāne o Manawatū. The facility will be built and owned by the Palmerston North City Council and co-managed by Massey University's Veterinary School.  

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery is expected to be completed next year.