Queen’s Wood trees: Oak trees get four week reprieve in insurance fight
PUBLISHED: 18:44 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:44 25 August 2020
Four under-threat oak trees in Queen’s Wood near Crouch End have been given a four-week stay of execution.
The trees have been guarded by “tree protectors” for the past six weeks – but the vigil has been halted after a visit from Cllr Kirsten Hearn (Lab, Stroud Green), Haringey’s environment chief, revealed the council and insurance company AXA were having “further discussions” as to whether the trees would have to go.
This situation arose when the insurance company were informed by a customer that the trees were causing structural issues with their home.
READ MORE: Queen’s Wood tree protesters – their month on ‘guard duty’
The council has said that it does not want to remove the trees – but previously said it had little choice due to the £270,000 cost of the underpinning work that would be otherwise necessary.
More than 8,000 people have so far signed a petition to save the trees, which one academic said could be around 100 years old.
Cllr Hearn said: “Like the campaigners, I do not want these trees to go. The council is committed to working with AXA to explore all options.”
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In a statement, the council said it “welcomed” the agreement that no action would be taken for four weeks and added: “We will be meeting with representatives from AXA and are keen to work with them to explore any other options available.”
Tamar Nigogossian has been one of the campaigners to camp out by the trees. She said: “It’s positive. It’s definitely a step in the right direction but isn’t by any means clear that we’re ‘out of the woods’ yet.
“It gives us a break, but I am not holding my breath expecting there to be a solution.”
An AXA spokesperson said the discussions were hoped to “identify a solution”. They said the company’s priority had been its customer and to find a solution which minimised the risks to the property in question.
They added: “During this consultation process, the London Borough of Haringey and AXA UK have agreed that there will be no action regarding the four trees for at least four weeks from Friday 21st.”
“We take our responsibilities to the environment very seriously and recognise the importance of woodlands and green spaces across the UK. We understand that this is an upsetting situation for local people and we hope that a suitable resolution will be found that will bring peace of mind to our customer and the local community.”
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