How many trees have been felled in the Parkland Walk?
- Credit: Joey Grostern
Exactly how many trees were felled in the Parkland Walk in March has been disputed by campaigners and Haringey Council - so the Ham&High conducted an informal count of tree stumps along the nature reserve.
We found 80 trees and saplings have been felled along the Haringey section of Parkland Walk over the past few months - which tallies with the rough estimate given by a Haringey Council tree officer to campaigners.
Officially, the town hall said they had cut down 22 trees as part of an ongoing bridge repair project, and 17 more over the past year where trees were either hazardous, dying, or subject to insurance action.
The council didn't reveal how many "saplings", which it defines as measuring less than 6-8cm in girth and 200cm in height, had been felled, which could explain the discrepancy in numbers.
There remains a dispute over how many of the tree stumps counted by each group have been felled recently and how many are historical.
Cllr Mike Hakata, Haringey Council's new deputy leader and environment chief said: “We would like to reassure all our residents here in Haringey that historical stumps along Parkland Walk are not part of this current project."
Giovanna Iozzi, of Community Tree Protectors Haringey, said that, with the help of a local botanist, Professor Jeff Duckett, they counted 171 trees felled along the whole of Parkland Walk. This includes 35 saplings and trees felled in Islington's part of the Walk.
She said: “The main point is they have cut way more trees than they said they would - whether inside the bridges or outside.”
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The vegetation clearances are part of a bridge repair project, which involves the removal of trees and vegetation from on, or within 5m of, the Haringey Council-owned bridge structures along Parkland Walk for safety reasons.
An Islington Council spokesperson said that in their section of the Parkland Walk, three trees had been felled "to allow younger trees to develop to future proof the area".
It said it had also coppiced, but not removed, 15 cherry trees and 30 hazel trees. Coppicing involves trimming trees back to stimulate growth.
Cllr Hakata added: “The removal of trees from on, or within 5m of, the bridge structures along Parkland Walk is though regrettably unavoidable in this instance for safety reasons.”
Haringey Council said it has paused any further vegetation clearances while it awaits an independent review of the works.