SIR: Simon Lever has too rosey a view of trees in his letter regarding St Giles Hill (Letters, October 22).

He writes to defend the trees there as a place where birds and wildlife flourish. I wish it were so. Much of St Giles Hill has many sycamore trees, an imported species which actually support very few insects, the crucial part of the chain of life. Native oak trees however support hundreds of species but there aren’t many mature ones on the steep slopes.

So although St Giles Hill looks lovely, as a wildlife habitat it is not so good.

Look at the photos of Victorian and Edwardian times of the Broadway with St Giles Hill in the background and you will be surprised by how few trees were there. They have been allowed to grow largely unchecked since the Second World War and blocked many fine views across the city centre. It is something that Andrew Rutter, the former conservation architect at the city council, has written about in the Chronicle.

St Giles Hill needs to have a radical programme of pruning and felling to open up the hillside. That would boost the flora and fauna significantly. The trouble is that there is a ‘cult of the tree’ that has evolved in the last few decades whereby people think every one should be protected. Trees are lovely but there are simply too many on St Giles Hill.

PV Rogers,

Stoney Lane,