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It's a Chainsaw Massacre! Fight to stop council from cutting down trees near the Heath

PUBLISHED: 16:09 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 15 September 2017

Kiki Kendrick stands in front of one of the trees earmarked by the council for removal Picture: Nathan Louis

Kiki Kendrick stands in front of one of the trees earmarked by the council for removal Picture: Nathan Louis

Archant

Residents are dismayed after Camden Council began cutting down trees in order to replace a wall in Hampstead Heath.

Kiki Kendrick has put up these signs to gain support and prevent further trees from being removed Picture: Nathan LouisKiki Kendrick has put up these signs to gain support and prevent further trees from being removed Picture: Nathan Louis

One tree on Constantine Road has already been cut (on Wednesday morning) and locals are fighting to save the rest of the trees, at the junction of Constantine and Savernake Road, that have been earmarked for removal.

Kiki Kendrick, also known to her neighbours as “Mrs Nets”, believes it is a disgrace that residents have not been consulted and has launched a campaign, “the Hampstead Chainsaw Massacre” to prevent any further trees from being destroyed. She has even tried to arrange time slots so that people can watch out for when the trees may be cut down in an attempt to halt it.

“I have tried to contact the council but have had no response and a tree has already gone down.

“This is supposed to be a conservation area and these trees have been here for as long as I can remember.”

Camden council put up these notices on September 6 Picture: Nathan LouisCamden council put up these notices on September 6 Picture: Nathan Louis

The council say that it is vital to cut the trees down to “repair a dangerous wall”. They also say they will replant the trees but Mrs Kendrick says that this will take years.

A passer by expressed her concern. “It is such a shame. To get these trees to these heights will be so difficult. I don’t know why they can’t just rebuild the wall,” she said.

Mrs Kendrick has gained support from neighbours, including Joyce Glasser who says that tree felling is a city wide issue.

She said: “The way we treat trees is abominable, it’s disgusting. We need to have respect for our trees and I urge the council to get a second opinion.”

This tree was reportedly cut on the morning of September 13 with no consultation Picture: Nathan LouisThis tree was reportedly cut on the morning of September 13 with no consultation Picture: Nathan Louis

David Patterson said he saw signs go up on September 6 notifying the public of the council’s decision to remove the trees.

“There has been absolutely no consultation and the removal of these trees will have a significant impact on how the area looks, considering it is supposed to be conservation.

“I’m sure there are other solutions and I just don’t think the council have been very transparent with us,” he said.

A spokesperson for Camden council said: “Due to significant stresses on the wall there is substantial cracking and leaning, which requires it to be taken down and completely rebuilt.

The 'dangerous' wall is behind these trees on an entrance to the Heath Picture: Nathan LouisThe 'dangerous' wall is behind these trees on an entrance to the Heath Picture: Nathan Louis

“The trees that are to be removed are in very close proximity to the wall and any work to take it down and rebuild it would undermine and damage the roots making them unsafe. The council plans to replant with approximately four trees, of a more suitable species, in the area.”

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