Tree felling at the edge of the Hesperianpuisto park suspended

The Administrative Court of Helsinki has by its interlocutory judgement prohibited the felling of the trees in Hesperianpuisto. The prohibition concerns the felling of 14 trees in Hesperianpuisto. Other work for the Mannerheimintie renovation project will continue as normal.
The majority of the tree felling along the Mannerheimintie road concerns renewing the rows of street trees.
The majority of the tree felling along the Mannerheimintie road concerns renewing the rows of street trees.

The interlocutory judgement also prohibits the felling of the trees along the Hesperian esplanadi street, but there were no plans to fell trees in that area in the first place. The judgement by the administrative court is in force until the appeal lodged by Kaupunkiluontoliike ry has been ruled or until otherwise decreed.

The nature conservation association Helsingin luonnonsuojeluyhdistus has also requested a preservation order and the request is being processed by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. Last week, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment decided not to investigate the claim made by Kaupunkiluontoliike, because the centre considered the claim to lack the grounds required by the Nature Conservation Act.

The area does not have any resting places of flying squirrels

Nature conservation organisations have demanded the suspension of the roadworks on Mannerheimintie, citing things such as the Nature Conservation Act and the endangerment of protected animal species.

According to the information of the city and on the basis of the decision of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, the roadworks on Mannerheimintie are not against the Nature Conservation Act. No breeding or resting places of flying squirrels, bats or other species especially protected by other habitats directives that would be impacted by the roadworks have been detected in the area.

According to the Urban Environment Division, Hesperianpuisto and Hesperian esplanadi are not important passages to any known core area of flying squirrels.

Furthermore, none of the trees to be felled are known to have holes that bats use as their breeding or resting places. The majority of the known breeding colonies and day-time hiding spots of bats in Helsinki are located in buildings.

New retaining wall between the street and the park

The road, cycle lane and pavement on Mannerheimintie will be moved, in accordance with the street plans, a few metres east to a park-like street area that is pursuant to the detailed plan and which is located opposite the hotels Crowne Plaza and Scandic Park. This is to ensure that the different forms of traffic can be separated from one another safely. This also provides the new rows of street trees with better growing conditions.

Due to the height difference between the park and the street, a retaining wall will be built between the park and the street area. In this park-like street area that is pursuant to the detailed plan, 10 trees will be felled that the prohibition issued by the administrative court does not concern.

Due to the retaining wall, the accessible passage ramp for pedestrians to be built at the edge of the park and the construction of the new steps, 14 trees at the edge of the park were marked for felling, but the decision of the administrative court prohibits the felling.

Measures were decided on in the road plans

The tree felling included in the renovation of Mannerheimintie is based on the legally valid road plan that was accepted in 2015 and which was prepared so that it observes the detailed plan in force in the area.

In order to implement the planned changes to the road, measures that concern both the road and the edge of Hesperianpuisto were included in the plan at the decision-making stage.

The Mannerheimintie renovation project requires the felling of 90 trees this spring. Some of the trees have already been felled. Approximately the same number of trees will be planted to replace the felled ones.

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