Trees on popular St Andrews path becoming a ‘safety concern’

Lade Braes
Lade Braes

A St Andrews councillor has called for an urgent survey of all trees along a popular path to be carried out.

The call, from Cllr Brian Thomson, follows an increase in the number of trees in Lade Braes falling over or large branches snapping off.

He says the issue is becoming a “public health and safety concern”.

“The trees in the Lade Braes are one of the main reasons why it’s such a fantastic and popular path for locals and visitors alike. However, the significant number of trees that are falling over or being damaged, in periods of high winds, is increasingly becoming a public health and safety concern, and the matter has been raised a number of times at meetings of St Andrews Community Council,” said Cllr Thomson.

“A lot of the trees were planted in the late 19th century, and are reaching the stage of maturity where they become unstable.

“It’s almost the case that trees are falling over every time there are high winds.

“One of the problems in tackling the issue is that a number of parties own various sections of the Lade Braes.

“While Fife Council recently surveyed trees located on a section of the Lade Braes that it owns close to Cockshaugh Park, then carried out tree works where required, other areas are Common Good land, or in private ownership, and trees in those areas were not included in the survey.

“Recognising that funding restrictions mean that Fife Council doesn’t survey trees on land it doesn’t own, I’ve suggested to officers that an audit of the whole of the Lade Braes could be funded by the St Andrews Common Good Fund, then discussions could be entered into with the respective owners if any tree works are required.”

The councillor concluded: “The initial response from officers has been favorable, and I’ll now be pushing for the funding to be approved, and an audit to be carried out as soon as possible.”