Neighbour offers a different take on Setchfield Trail

Trees likely fell due to wind, unstable root structures given their location

Re: Langford resident fears for future of popular trail (Gazette, Jan. 4)

We love to regularly walk the Setchfield Trail, just minutes from our home in Eagle Ridge Estates. That practice will continue as long as we are able. This same trail, planned and created by the developer in question, is presently maintained by the City of Langford.

As 10-year residents of Eagle Ridge Estates, we share neither the fears nor the “everybody’s-really-angry-down-here” stance of our good neighbour. Yes, two trees fell recently upon the trail. In our humble opinion, the principal cause was that both of the trees’ root systems were embedded in the direct path of Gardner Creek. Its banks overflowed a number of times last fall due to heavy rains. Add the mix of high winds experienced on Dec. 20 and a “perfect storm” scenario led to the felling of both trees.

Granted, more trees have recently been purposely cleared in anticipation of the latest extension project launched by ERE off Echo Valley Drive. That appears to have had limited impact on the recent trees that accidentally fell upon Setchfield Trail. Shallow roots on mountainous terrain are no match for the double whammy of raging creeks and high winds.

These are not the first trees that have fallen in this carefully planned Setchfield Trail green space and wetlands. Neither will they be the last.

Thanks to the prompt action of trail users, Langford city officials were alerted and city staff quickly cleared the fallen trees. Thankfully no one got “whacked” nor even witnessed the event, to my knowledge. As contented Langford residents, we quite look forward to welcoming new occupants to the latest phase of ERE. For one thing, it will help spread further the property tax burden for our area of Langford, already one of the lowest in the Capital Regional District.

Who knows, this newest development might even see an extension to the existing Setchfield Trail to include our new neighbours. If not, we’ll just follow the deer trails on our own.

V. and R. Downey