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Tree management on Roman Wall in Priory Street

The work, which takes place between 24 and 26 February, will follow strict guidelines

Date issued: 17 February 2020

A programme of specialised tree work is set to reduce vegetation on Colchester’s historic Roman Town Wall along Priory Street, as part of the council’s ongoing maintenance plan for the scheduled monument.

The work, which takes place between 24 and 26 February, will follow strict guidelines adopted in the council’s 2018 management plan for the Town Wall and the heritage partnership agreement with Historic England.

The council has notified the Colchester Natural History Society, with whom it has an agreed approach, before carrying out the work to prune trees and shrubs and other woody plants that have the potential to damage the wall. Some plants – for example self-setting bramble, elder, ivy, and similar flora – can damage the fabric of the monument and these need to be carefully removed by hand-weeding and spot treatment of woody stumps.

Most plants, however, do no damage and the council continues to work with experts to ensure that any work on the wall also minimises the disturbance to this special wildlife habitat within the town. 

The work will result in the temporary closure of some parking bays in Priory Street car park on these dates. The car park will remain open and shoppers, visitors and workers in Colchester on these dates can also take advantage of the great value parking available at other nearby car parks, such as Britannia, Vineyard Street and St John’s if Priory Street car park is full.   

Cllr Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Culture & Performance and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Colchester’s Roman Wall provides visitors with perhaps the most stunning visual reminder of the long and momentous past that is woven into the fabric of our town and which most vividly defines its unique status as Britain’s first city.  

“As custodians of such a unique and irreplaceable monument, we are committed to its protection and enhancement in ways that also helps nature conservation and promotes its setting for the benefit of current and future generations.

“All of the planned work will be undertaken meticulously, in keeping with our 2018 management plan, and with the support and oversight of Historic England and other local bodies dedicated to its preservation as a major source of local civic pride.”

Councillor Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: "We apologise for any inconvenience the works may cause to motorists, but the part-closure is necessary to carry out these essential tree works. The car park will remain open and motorists will still be able to take advantage of the great value parking on offer here and at our other car parks across the town.”

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