A retired council gardener has accused Kirklees of “vandalising” Huddersfield and turning it into a “sterilised desert” after removing too much greenery.

Pete Fawcett is angry that too many shrubs, bushes and trees are being uprooted from public areas after the disappearance of greenery from a ring road car park.

Pete, of Cleckheaton, took photos before and after the shrubs were removed from the Springwood car park near Huddersfield Leisure Centre.

The shrubs have been replaced with wood chip in the past month.

Pete, who worked for the council for 32 years, said: “Kirklees Council have ripped out thousands of shrubs around the Springwood car park.

“The area is now a sterilised desert.

“The shrubs were low maintenance and green. The wood chip is not low maintenance. It is blowing around the car park already.”

He added: “The shrubs looked tidy and were low cost and low maintenance.

“The area has been sterilised of urban greenspace leaving an ugly mess.”

Kirklees Council leader David Sheard recently told the Examiner: “In Kirklees we have a variety of natural space.”

But Pete, who retired as a council gardener in 2010, said town centre greenspace was being ripped out.

In recent years Pete says the council has got rid of enough greenery “to stretch from Huddersfield to York.”

Former Kirklees gardener Peter Fawcett.
Former Kirklees gardener Peter Fawcett.

A council spokesman said: “The shrubs surrounding the Springwood car park have been removed in order to make sure the area remains safe, secure and easy to maintain in the coming years.

“Throughout Kirklees the council is reshaping our greenspace and creating more natural areas for wildlife and insects to flourish.

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“We are also leading the way in partnering with both local and regional community groups to help create an environment we can be both part of and proud of.

“This will ultimately not be to everybody’s tastes and so we would urge any resident who want their voices heard to attend District Committees or join their local community groups.”