Search

English Heritage accused of ‘destruction of nature’ at Kenwood to recreate one of London’s great views

11:00 17 January 2014

The present view up to the Kenwood Dairy. Picture: English Heritage

The present view up to the Kenwood Dairy. Picture: English Heritage

Archant

English Heritage has been accused of pursuing the “destruction of nature” for no good reason with its plans to recreate a “lost vista” by chopping down dozens of trees on the Kenwood estate.

The proposed view up to the Kenwood Dairy with the copper beeches removed. Picture: English HeritageThe proposed view up to the Kenwood Dairy with the copper beeches removed. Picture: English Heritage

The conservation body hopes to restore “one of London’s great views” by clearing away 26 trees, including three much-loved copper beeches, which sit beneath the 18th century Kenwood Dairy cottage to the west of the main house.

But the proposal met with fierce criticism from some quarters this week, following the launch on Friday of a consultation which runs until January 31.

Hampstead Heath activist David Lewis, a leading campaigner against the City of London’s controversial dams project, said: “These trees look splendid and they’re a feature in themselves – a better feature than the dairy or the proposed view.

“It’s destruction of nature and I just can’t see the point. They’re not such brilliant views anyway.”

The Grade II-listed dairy was 
recently opened to the public for the first time after being restored as part of the £5.95million Caring for Kenwood project, which also saw Kenwood House undergo a major renovation before being reopened by the Prince of Wales in December.

English Heritage says the scheme would return the landscape to its 18th century splendour, recreating views that were unchanged for 150 years before a number of trees were planted in the 1950s to provide privacy to the dairy.

“I have seen no documentary 
evidence that this view was ever intended,” Mr Lewis said. “It’s just rumour and supposition as far as I’m concerned.”

The estate boasts some 5,600 trees according to English Heritage, 1,700 of which were planted over the past five years. Fifty more are due to be added this winter.

Head gardener Paul Jackson said: “The Kenwood landscape is as much a masterpiece of careful design as the house itself. For over 150 years, visitors could enjoy, from the dairy, glorious views over the estate. But over the past few decades, one of London’s great views was lost.

“Now with the dairy restored and open to the public, we want to bring back these dramatic views and help visitors to better appreciate the nature and art of Kenwood.”

Mr Jackson will be at the dairy on Sunday from 10am to 3pm to discuss the project.

It will then be presented in more detail at a public meeting at Kenwood House from 5.30pm on Tuesday.

Residents can also email kenwood.house@english-heritage.org.uk to give their views.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

43 minutes ago
Camden families have been defying new government rules and taking their children on holidays during school term time. Picture: PA File.

Dozens of Camden families have defied new government rules banning pupils from going on holiday during school term time, new figures reveal.

09:51
Hampstead SNP vice-chair Linda Chung

A ban on anti-social street drinking in Camden could be extended to cover Hampstead Heath to fight a plague of “aggressive” nuisance drinkers, police have revealed.

11:55
Cllr Peter Brayshaw.

Camden’s Labour councillors have expressed their shock at the sudden death of much-loved colleague Cllr Peter Brayshaw.

10:47
What the new building is expected to look like

Another conservation group has added to concerns over proposals to build a £42million world-leading research centre next to a Grade I-listed building, saying it will “substantially harm its setting”.

Most read news

The mother of seven of the children suffered serious stab wounds. She remains in a stable condition in hospital.

According to the MoD, the answer is a resounded “yes”.

Lewis Hamilton’s metaphor for life is particularly deep, with many turns.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition