I went for a stroll today after being stuck in the house because of the rain at the weekend. Walking up Westcoates Drive, the ground was covered in a blanket of fallen leaves. It looks like autumn, but it doesn’t feel autumnal yet. The weather has been unseasonably warm, with moist winds blowing across the UK from the Atlantic. Although, it has turned the trees into a very charming shade of golden brown.
I had to walk through New Parks, and I was struck by how devoid that part of Leicester is of trees. For some reason, the grass verges have never been planted with trees, which keeps the roads clear of leaf fall, but no doubt in the summer the lack of cover from the trees means it’s warmer than it needs to be. If we want to meet our decarbonisation targets, we could easily double or triple the number of trees in our urban neighbourhoods. Planting trees is a much better use of space than everyone parking their cars on the verges.
We’ve got plenty of well established trees in this part of Leicester. There is a running problem with the pavements becoming distorted as the roots protrude, but I’d rather have the trees that perfectly smooth pavements. There is plenty of leaf fall at this time of year, and few people make the effort to sweep in front of their houses. Leicester City Council clears the leaves twice per year, which is nowhere near enough to keep the pavements from turning into a muddy sludge of rotting leaves.