When the Christmas trees sellers landed on Christchurch Green in November, one of people’s worries was that the grass would be damaged.
Now that the sellers have departed, a superficial examination shows some bare patches on the grass, but no more than would be expected. Otherwise the sellers (who, reports agree, seemed like nice people) seem to have left the Green pretty much as they found it. The grass will no doubt recover – it’s hardy stuff.
But many readers will be wondering if this was an experiment which will be repeated. Anecdotally we hear there were not huge numbers of sales, though we have no actual evidence for that. There are also reports that the sellers suffered some vandalism.
Wanstead councillor Jo Blackman said the impact on high street retailers would be examined – it will be interesting to see if residents followed through on pledges to support their traditional sources for trees.
The venture was a part of the approach being taken by Vision, the charity which manages parks and libraries for Redbridge Borough Council, to generate income to fund its services. At least as far as Wanstead is concerned, this is not proving to be an uncontroversial effort.