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Under-threat Queen’s Wood oak trees saved until at least late 2021

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 November 2020

Campaigners with the under-threat oak trees in Queen's Wood. Picture: Julian Glaser

Campaigners with the under-threat oak trees in Queen's Wood. Picture: Julian Glaser

Archant

Four ancient oak trees in Queen’s Wood will live on for at least the next year, Haringey Council has confirmed.

The four trees were the subject of weeks of protest over the summer when they were slated for removal over insurance fears.

Each month since August has seen the trees given a month-long stay of execution, but now Haringey and insurers AXA – acting for homeowners thought to be affected by the trees’ roots – have agreed to hold off any removal until at least late 2021.

The council reported that AXA has now decided to “undertake a further round of investigations” and monitor the area until November next year.

READ MORE: Queen’s Wood oaks get four-week reprieve

Cllr Kirsten Hearn said: “I’m really pleased to hear this news. I’ve always wanted to avoid cutting down these trees if we could find an alternative.

“We now have at least 12 months to look for a solution and I will continue to talk with campaigners about options during this time.”

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Tamar Nigogossian, who spent weeks camping out in front of the affected trees as part of the Stop Home Insurers Felling Trees (SHIFT) Haringey group said she was delighted to hear the news.

She told the Ham&High: “It’s fantastic news, it’s very exciting. It’s also indicative of the fact that protest does work – for anyone who turns around and says ‘what difference does it make’, here’s an answer.

The activist continued by saying her group would continue to keep an eye on activity around the trees, and would oppose pushing the cost of any needed under-pinning work on the trees onto Haringey Council.

Tamar added: “We just wouldn’t be okay with that.”

A spokesperson for insurance firm AXA confirmed there trees will be untouched for another 12 months and said: “Our priority in this complex case has been to manage the risks to our customers’ property and to find a solution that addresses their requirements at the same time as minimising any impact on the local woodland.”

They said AXA hopes a solution which met the needs of the customer and the community can be found.

The tree protest featured on national radio over the summer, and environmental campaigners including writer Robert Macfarlane and environmentalist Chris Packham showing support.

A petition started by Glenys Law, who chairs the Crouch End Open Space group, garnered more than 9,000 signatures.


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