To the editor,
As a past resident of the Arklow Drive area, I was terribly disappointed to see in the recent media the issues about the tree removal along portions of the walking paths in behind Arklow and Almora Court in Forest Hills-Cole Harbour. For the residents of this community, these pathways are a wonderful addition to family living. There wasn't a week gone by that, as a child, I didn't play in the woods. As an adult, I walked my dogs or just strolled and enjoyed the peace and quiet that was afforded me by the privacy of the greenbelt along these pathways.
While the news coverage I've read states that HRM's position is there are high crime ratios in these particular areas, I find it very difficult to believe. While there is likely the occasional outbreak of bad teenage behaviour in this area, clear cutting the forest is certainly not the solution.
Parts of this greenbelt have already been devastated by Hurricane Juan and it will take many years for the forest to grow back in those sections. All the while, the homes in that area that enjoyed the sound and wind barrier it provided, now see an increase in winter heating costs and noise pollution.
No one wants to nourish any supposed crime in the area, but no one should have to stand idly by while such deforestation occurs. I applaud the locals for bringing attention to these matters and not allowing themselves to become overwhelmed by the opposition HRM is giving them in this matter.