Search

‘Destructive’ plans to chop down 162 trees on Hampstead Heath announced

PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 May 2014

Hampstead Heath Trees near the Dam project. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Hampstead Heath Trees near the Dam project. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Conservationists have reacted with fury after plans to chop down more than 150 trees on Hampstead Heath were revealed.

File photo: Autumn colour at boating pond on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Nigel Sutton File photo: Autumn colour at boating pond on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A Heath “stakeholders” group was this week told that 162 healthy specimens will be felled as part of the City of London Corporation’s much-criticised dam building project.

The news has prompted claims that some of the Heath’s “most precious” areas will be devastated by the “destructive scheme”.

These include the Stock Pond, which will lose 26 trees, and the Catchpit area, where 71 are set to go.

Campaigner David Lewis said: “Two of the Heath’s most precious locations, the Stock Pond and the Catchpit, a beautiful largely hidden area between the Viaduct Pond and the Mixed Bathing Pond, will be devastated.

“This destructive scheme must not be allowed to go ahead.“

English Heritage received widespread criticism for taking an axe to 23 trees at Kenwood in February despite a successful campaign to save three much-loved large copper beeches there.

Mr Lewis said “much worse is in store for Hampstead Heath” with the latest threat.

It comes as a drive is launched to raise £100,000 for a High Court challenge against the City’s controversial dam project.

The Heath and Hampstead Society, which is leading the Dam Nonsense campaign, is calling on all its members to contribute to the judicial review fund.

Chairman Tony Hillier said the tree felling proposal is “just as disastrous a part of the plans as any other aspect”.

He added: “These measures are not legally necessary and that’s what we’re taking them to judicial review about.”

The Corporation, which manages the Heath, also wants to cut down 15 trees at each of the men’s and ladies’ bathing ponds.

Two of the Heath’s treasured London Planes near to the Hampstead No. 2 Pond will also be removed.

Mr Lewis, co-ordinator of Protect Our Ponds, which supports the Dam Nonsense campaign, alleged the Corporation had not been completely up-front about the situation.

“If you took part in the City of London’s public consultation, you can be forgiven for thinking that the works would be tree-friendly,” he said.

“Far from it. You have been the victim of distraction and omission.”

A Corporation spokesman said no “veteran” trees would be removed and that efforts are being made to bring down the number set to disappear, though it is currently only 0.8 per cent of the Heath’s stock of 20,000 trees.

He said the trees would be removed to “strengthen the ponds, protect them from dam collapse and encourage greater biodiversity in the ponds”.

He added: “We have always said that we would seek to minimise tree loss as part of this important dam strengthening project.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 16:24

A man who started his first business at the age of 14 and who has dedicated his life to entrepreneurialism is hoping to turn Holborn and St Pancras blue.

Yesterday, 15:01

The introduction of plans to relocate a 110-year-old library to a nearby arts centre has been met with resistance by users.

Yesterday, 14:48

A tax on salt, scrapping Trident and adding a penny to income tax were three solutions to the social care crisis put forward in a general election hustings yesterday.

Yesterday, 08:00

Villagey Hampstead and Highgate are among the most desirable places in the country to live - but these five maps reveal stark differences in social inequality throughout the borough of Camden.

Thu, 19:16

Police have released an image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a sexual assault.

Thu, 17:34

Naturists are campaigning this summer to be able to enjoy the Heath and will be carrying out informal polls to gauge public opinion.

Thu, 16:51

An army of schoolchildren, staff and parents have raised £2,000 by taking part in a sponsored walk around Highgate Woods.

Thu, 16:14

A philanthropist and former refugee has urged the next government to ensure the safe passage of thousands more children, as he shared a stage with two Syrian refugees.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Often one of the most daunting parts of going through a divorce or separation is knowing what steps to take first and how to deal with financial issues which arise. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now