'Greenwashing': Campaigners slam new Parkland Walk tree-felling plans
- Credit: Rachel Kiki
Environmental campaigners have criticised plans of Haringey Council to fell seven trees on the Parkland Walk.
The local authority has submitted proposals to construct a new footbridge at the Stanhope Road entrance with a ramp and stepped access.
If approved, seven trees would be chopped down including a “beautiful” and “loved” large oak tree covered in Russian vine. On Saturday (October 9) a group of residents assembled to voice their opposition.
Dozens of trees have been cut down in recent months along the nature reserve connecting Finsbury Park and Muswell Hill, with more than 2,500 people signing a petition to stop the “destruction”.
Giovanna Iozzi, from Haringey Tree Protectors, told the Ham&High: “Haringey announced a climate emergency. It is supposed to be publishing a biodiversity action plan, it is supposed to be protecting trees – but it is chopping down more trees than it is planting.
“They're talking the talk. They're greenwashing but they're not actually putting trees first.”
Campaigners are concerned about the proposals’ impact on biodiversity, calling for the designs to be revised so that they integrate the trees.
They have urged the town hall to look at alternative sites including the Crouch Hill bridge which they say is a more suitable entry point.
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Cathy Meeus, chair of Friends of the Parkland Walk, said: “While recognising the need to replace the bridge at Stanhope Road, we have consistently urged the council to ensure that the works are undertaken in the least damaging way to the trees, plants, and wildlife of the surrounding area.
“We support improved access to the Walk for mobility impaired users, but are concerned that the planned access ramp is unnecessarily destructive of the green space and have suggested that the council considers alternatives to this site that are more useful for the public.”
Cllr Mike Hakata, Haringey Council's cabinet member for the environment, said: “We have engaged extensively with stakeholders in relation to this matter and will continue to do so, with the understanding that this is a place of environmental importance which we must ensure is enjoyed by all.
“No decision has been made yet regarding this application and I would urge residents wanting to make representations to do so before the consultation closes on Thursday 28 October."
Residents can comment on the plans via Haringey’s planning portal with the reference number HGY/2021/2718. The proposals will then be decided on by the council's planning committee.