More than 2,300 sign petition slamming Parkland Walk tree-felling
- Credit: Jonathan Goldberg
More than 2,300 people have signed a petition demanding Haringey Council does not cut down any more trees in the Parkland Walk – and asking the council to adopt a "more sensitive and nuanced" approach to tree management.
In February and March, Haringey Council trees on Parkland Walk as part of a preparation work ahead of bridge repairs slated for later this year.
The number of trees chopped down remains unclear.
Asked by campaigners why more trees had been felled than in published plans, the council's senior parks development manager wrote in an email on March 3: "The number of trees felled as part of these works is in line with the previously published information, ie c8 per bridge, which equates to 8c80 all-in, possibly a few more (as we are undertaking work at 10 bridges)."
A council spokesperson has since said that the number felled was actually lower, as work was halted following protests. However, despite being asked, it has not said how many trees it believes were felled.
The Community Tree Protectors Haringey group said it believes up to 175 trees could have been felled.
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The Friends of Parkland Walk said in a statement that the decision to fell all trees within 5m of bridges and underpasses was done “without regard for the special sensitivity of the site or factors around relative damage risks".
The group said there had been a "chronic lack of monitoring" of the work.
In March, protestors even staged a funeral march along Parkland Walk in protest at the work.
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Campaigner Giovanna Iozzi called what had happened “incompetent, negligent, casual destruction”.
A Haringey council spokesperson said the work had been "regrettably unavoidable in this instance".
They added: "“We're continuing to engage with local campaigners, the Friends, residents and other associated stakeholders.
"We have listened to their concerns and have amended our plans accordingly. We haven’t removed more trees than originally planned as part of these clearance works and will endeavour to ensure that any that can still be retained, will be.”
Vegetation works are due to continue on Parkland in the coming months, once Haringey has assessed the implications of vegetation clearances.
Local Lib Dem rep Cllr Scott Emery (Muswell Hill) said the work "was too aggressive" and said it would "harm the local ecosystem".
Elsewhere in Haringey, the felling of seven trees in Coldfall Wood was suspended in late March following a petition to oppose the fellings gained 67,000 signatures in a matter of weeks.
An independent engineer is to review the insurance claim threatening the trees' future, and the town hall expects to be in a better position to comment by June of this year.
In March, the council's climate chief told this paper: “I do not want these trees to be felled."