Trees in Bear Flat

Trees undoubtedly contribute positively to the character and appearance of the conservation area in Bear Flat.

The photographs of trees that will soon be posted here, taken in May 2015, cover Bloomfield Avenue and Maple Grove, Beechen Cliff Road, the ‘Poets’, Hatfield and St Luke’s Roads, Wellsway and Bloomfield Road. These will illustrate that Bear Flat contains many trees of varying type and size, mostly on private land. Additional commentary on the photographs is given below.

The whole of Bear Flat lies in the Bath Conservation Area. Under planning legislation for such areas, six weeks’ notice must be given to the Council ‘before works are carried out to any tree’. There is thus some protection for all trees, whether on public or private land.

The Council’s register of planning applications records a substantial number were submitted for works to trees in the conservation area within Bear Flat (Bloomfield and Lyncombe wards). This suggests that local people and those who hired to cut down or prune trees are aware of the legal requirements and/or the importance of protecting trees.

Major trees can be the subject of Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) ‘to protect trees which make a significant impact on their local surroundings’. The Council’s map showing built up and green spaces indicates that the only TPO trees in our immediate area are:

  • On the south side of Bloomfield open space at Hensley Gardens;
  • Around St Luke’s Church between St Luke’s Road and Hatfield Road;
  • At the west end of Bloomfield Avenue where it diverts northwards towards Oldfield Road; and
  • Greenway Court.

The Council lacks the resources to survey trees comprehensively and regularly. It seems that only trees at risk of being felled or damaged are made the subject of TPOs. Requests from residents who perceive that trees are under threat may also be a factor.

The accompanying photographs will give local views as follows:

1 From Hayes Place walking to Beechen Cliff, Byron, Shelley and Chaucer Roads.

2 Continuing with a scene from Wellsway adjacent to the Carphone Warehouse looking south down Wellsway, then walking to Bloomfield Avenue and Maple Grove.

3 Then, views from the Poet’s Corner avenues up towards Alexandra Park and down towards Wellsway.

4 Devonshire Buildings, Wellsway in the vicinity of St Luke’s Church, Hatfield Road and St Luke’s Road.

5 Wellsway, Bloomfield Road and Bloomfield Open Space.

Some general points of interest which the photographs will illustrate:

  • Especially from Bloomfield Avenue and Maple Grove, there are attractive long distance views of trees on the hillside to the south beyond Englishcombe Lane;
  • Trees on Beechen Cliff form a strong and distinctive setting to Bear Flat;
  • The street trees in Poet’s Corner, despite the severe pruning in 2015, add positively to the character of the area;
  • Trees on the edge of Alexandra Park can be seen at the top of the avenues, notably east of Chaucer Road, and they enhance the views;
  • The trees surrounding St Luke’s Church and along Wellsway on both sides of the road soften the appearance of this major thoroughfare;
  • Bloomfield open space and trees in private gardens along Bloomfield Road provide a green and pleasant setting to the area; and

There are many individual trees and small groups of trees in residents’ gardens which contribute positively to the character and appearance of the area.

The Planning Group would be grateful to hear of trees or groups of trees that should be added to this collection. Please contact