MORE than 30 trees in a Wirral cemetery are to be chopped down after an inspection found them to be unsafe.

Grange Cemetery in West Kirby has been closed to the public since February 13, because of concerns over recent high winds and 'unsafe trees' bordering a nearby park.

Following a council inspection it was decided that the avenue of 33 Lombard trees will be removed.

Work is due to start in the next few days. New trees will be planted in their place.

The area will remain closed until work is finished.

A council spokesperson said: "Grange Cemetery will remain closed until works have taken place to make the area safe.

"To prioritise public safety, Grange Cemetery has recently been closed whilst we've been having high winds and heavy rain in Wirral.

"Trees that separate the cemetery and the park have been inspected and unfortunately have been found in very poor structural condition and of significant risk to visitors.

"To allow the park to be safely used by the public again, works will start within the next few days to remove the avenue of 33 Lombard trees and the area will remain closed until works are complete.

"The council recognise that trees in this area, and across the borough, are a much loved feature and provide a considerable landscape character to the park and cemetery, therefore works will also see the replanting of an avenue of trees.

"We will be working with Friends' groups and park users to look at the design and the species of tree selected for the replanting.

"This falls in line with our policy, within the forthcoming Tree Strategy, to only fell trees when they are a risk to public safety as a last resort and to replace those trees felled.

"It is hoped that the new trees will be enjoyed by visitors to the park for many decades to come and will help restore the avenue.

"Two of the trees in this area have been identified as potential bat roosts so surveys are being carried out on these particular trees."