Haringey Council has been told it can do more to protect trees from “bullying" insurers and developers - despite having won an award for safeguarding its woodlands.  

The council scooped the community woodland award at this year’s London Tree and Woodland Awards, billed as the ‘Tree Oscars’.  

Haringey’s Ancient Woodland Project works with conservation volunteers to help preserve areas of woodlands, including Bluebell Wood and Coldfall Wood in Muswell Hill and Queen’s Wood in Highgate.  

But community organisation Haringey Tree Protectors says the council does not always protect woodlands from the “bullying tactics of insurers and developers”.  

The group pointed to the felling of trees in Coldfall Woods and at St Ann’s Hospital in recent years.

They added that street trees are also “worth protecting”, claiming that more than 3,000 have been chopped down in the past 15 years.

Haringey Council is currently at the centre of a legal dispute over the potential felling of a tree blamed for subsidence at two homes in Stroud Green.

But the authority has said that its award-winning woodland programme helps to protect habitats, enhance biodiversity and increase resilience to climate change.

A spokesperson for Haringey Tree Protectors said: “It's positive that the council are taking steps to look after our ancient woodlands.

“However, we would also say that these very same ancient woods are not always protected by the council from the bullying tactics of insurers and developers.

“In recent years...the Queen's Wood oaks, another insurance claim, were only saved by a brilliant local residents' campaign.”

They added: “A number of Friends of Parks and groups such as ours feel a distinct lack of engagement from the council when it comes to trees being protected when up against commercial events, insurers and development - this is also where good protection and climate resilience work should be happening.”

The council's deputy leader Cllr Mike Hakata said: “The reality is this prestigious award celebrates our work with the community to ensure our three precious ancient woodlands are safeguarded, so to be recognised is a major achievement. 

"These comments will not detract from the hard work, dedication and passion of our conservation team, Friends’ groups, volunteers and residents to protect and improve these irreplaceable open spaces and the pride they all rightly feel to be honoured with this accolade.  

“We know trees play a vital role in tackling the climate emergency, which is why protecting and nurturing them is a key priority for the council. 

"Last year alone we planted 1,500 new trees, a Haringey record, and 5,000 street trees since 2008, almost double the number lost to disease and decay over the same time period. 

"We also plan to increase canopy cover to 30% in all wards and plant at least 10,000 new trees by 2030.”