Plans to create an avenue of lime trees in a Moray park to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee have been scrapped after it emerged it would cost £20,000 a year to maintain.
The proposal called for 58 trees to be planted either side of a path running from Grant Lodge to Deanshaugh Bridge in Elgin’s Cooper Park.
However, it emerged it would cost around £40,000 over a two-year period to care for the trees, with each one requiring 20 litres of water every second day to ensure their survival.
Instead seven lime trees – one for each decade of the Queen’s reign – will be placed in the area between the pond and the sports pitches.
The proposal is part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project that is encouraging schools, groups and individuals to plant trees to mark the jubilee.
It is being led by the Lord Lieutenants of Moray and Banffshire along with a steering group including the deputy lieutenants, representatives from the local authority’s education, planning and lands and parks services as well as two councillors.
Eddie Wallace, who is a member of Elgin Community Council, had criticised the original plan for the avenue trees through the park.
He said: “I’m delighted it’s not going ahead.
“There was a big festival in the park a few weeks ago, and I can’t imagine what that would have been like if there had been trees down the path.
“I like the new idea of the seven trees, it’s much more sensible.”
Alastair Kennedy, chairman of the community council, has been involved in discussions about the Cooper Park lime trees.
He said: “£20,000 a year to water the 58 trees was a ridiculous amount of money, and there were concerns about the avenue of trees cutting through the park.
“This seems to be a more suitable arrangement.
“I think folk will be happier with it and this option still marks the jubilee.”
John Stuart, the Earl of Moray, who is chairman of the Queen’s Green Canopy Moray committee, said it was the group’s intention to take responsibility for maintenance of the avenue of trees in Cooper Park.
He added: “The number of trees we’ve planted has been reduced from 58 to seven, to reflect the number of decades the Queen has been on the throne.
“Due to an unexpectedly high costing maintenance quote received after the original plan was made, the decision to reduce the number was agreed by the committee, including elected members of Moray Council, council officers, and in consultation with Elgin Community Council.”