More than 10,000 people have already signed an objection to the cutting down of nearly 800 trees in Kashubia, in the buffer zone of the Slupia Valley Landscape Park. The avenues are to go under the axe to make room for road expansion. — Kashubian alleys are a symbol and showcase of the region, Marcin Jaworski of the Bytow „Nenufar” Association appeals.
The trees—780 in all—have been doomed due to the renovation of a narrow county road, on the Trzebielino-Kolczygłowy section in Kashubia. The investor is the board of the Bytow district, and the environmental decision allowing the cutting was issued by the head of the Trzebielino municipality, Tomasz Czechowski.
Kashubian alleys are a symbol and showcase of the region.They are the ones that attract tourists here, and not only from Poland. They are a paradise for cyclists. The alleys have great cultural and identity significance for Kashubia. They are the living history of these lands," says Marcin Jaworski of Bytow's „Nenufar” Association.
The association, together with the Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot (Workshop for All Be ings), has applied to the Pomeranian Regional Monument Conservator to enter the avenue in the register of monuments. At the same time, the collection of signatures for the petition „NO to cutting down Kashubian alleys” is also underway, which has so far been supported by more than 10,000 people.
The avenue from a bird's eye view
Photo by Jaroslaw Kucharczyk
district governor: we need to bring the road up to standards
The local authorities justify the cutting down of the trees on the grounds of, among other things, improved access, „comfort and safety.” New plantings would be made in return. Construction work is planned for next year.
This is not intended to be a renovation of the road, but an upgrade. As a result, the designer must conform to the standards that apply to county roads, that is, widen the existing highway. Hence the need to cut down some trees has arisen. And the large number of trees to be cut down is due to the fact that this is a very long stretch of road. Of course I also feel sorry for these trees, but with such investments we have to consider all things. I would only add that when there were public consultations, at that time the residents living in the area did not make any comments on the cutting of the trees," said Leszek Waszkiewicz, head of the Bytow district, in an interview with the local weekly "Always Pomerania.
"Linden and maple avenues are a treasure of Kashubia".
Thearguments cited by defenders of the trees, in turn, are many. Among them is that they lie in the buffer zone of the Slupia Valley Landscape Park, and that the linden and maple avenues are not only a natural, but also a historical treasure of Kashubia—their preservation is a matter of cultural identity of the region. Protesters emphasize that the reconstruction of the road can be planned without cutting down the trees, and the avenue should be absolutely protected especially in times of climate change and biodiversity crisis. "The ecological values of the more than 100-year-old trees, the arboreal microhabitats provide shelter for insects, bats and birds, and are overgrown with mosses, lichens and fungi."—the petition reads.
Nearly 800 trees are to be cut down
Photo: Karol Paciorek
The district and municipal authorities and the road manager are clearly acting to the detriment of Kashubia, according to Radoslaw Slusarczyk of Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot.—It is appalling that decision-makers do not understand the value of the region they manage. Such avenues cannot be bought and quickly restored. The actions of local authorities are a 19th century anachronism in thinking about natural and cultural heritage. Therefore, I encourage everyone to stand up for the beautiful, priceless avenues and sign the petition.
But will the protest change anything?
- Maybe something can still be done in this regard, but what the final shape of this investment will be, it is difficult for me to say today,„ Leszek Waszkiewicz, Bytow district governor, told "Always Pomerania”.