The chairman of Alnwick Tourism Association has expressed his concern about a ‘forest’ of plastic tubes which have been placed around newly-planted trees at one of the main entrances to the town.
Last month, the A1 northbound slip road leading towards the Willowburn roundabout was closed overnight for just under a week by Highways England to allow for fencing and planting works.
As part of the horticultural project, trees were planted along the grass verge by the side of the slip road.
Each tree has been encased by a plastic tube to protect the young plants from animals and extreme weather, according to Highways England.
But Bruce Hewison has criticised the density of the plastic tubes, saying that the sheer amount is mind-boggling and creates an unattractive welcome to the town.
In a letter to the Gazette, he said: ‘I feel I must write to you to express my concern at the density of plastic tubes on the A1 slip road leading onto the A1068.
‘A planting scheme which is just a forest of plastic tubes stuck in the ground is so unattractive and creates an awful sight as you approach Alnwick.
‘I fail to understand the reliance on these plastic tubes which are no better than litter and, this is the appearance that they have.
‘Plants will grow just as well without them.’
Mr Hewison, who runs five-star rated West Acre House bed and breakfast in Alnwick, continued: ‘The amount of plastic tubes here is just mind-boggling.
‘Presumably they will be left on the plants in perpetuity and so it will look like they are wrapped in litter as they grow.
‘Walking around Alnwick there are places where hedging has been replaced which still has the plastic tubes wrapped around them?
‘Can someone explain why they think that sticking plants in hundreds of plastic tubes enhances our lovely town?’
In reply to Mr Hewison’s complaint, a Highways England spokeswoman said: “The tubes are there to protect the young plants from extreme weather and browsing animals such as rabbits and deer, which can be very devastating in a very short period.
“This is common practice and is used throughout the horticultural community in order to preserve the new plants.”