Parkland Walk: Tree works 'overkill' complain protesters
- Credit: Jonathan Goldberg
Tree-lovers along the length of Haringey's Parkland Walk have criticised works to cut back woodland as "overkill".
Last week saw Haringey Council send contractors to undertake work designed to prepare the nature reserve for essential bridge engineering works slated for the coming two years.
But campaigners were upset to see the results – claiming the scale of the work was unnecessary and damaged the area.
Giovanna Iozzi, a local resident, told this newspaper: "Lots of people feel its wrecked the Walk for them. It's total overkill and it seems not to have been supervised properly."
She said the protest group felt the work was counter to Haringey's climate change commitments, adding: "It seems to be business as usual with development and building works taking precedence over the rights of our trees and green spaces."
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The Friends of the Parkland Walk group was not involved in the protests but said members were "sympathetic" to the concerns raised.
Cathy Meeus, the group's chair, said she asked Haringey Council about the scale of the work, and specifically asked whether the contractors had been adequately supervised.
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She said: "We were concerned the work went further than expected and are also concerned about the lack of on-site monitoring works as they were taking place. "
Cathy said the Friends accepted the work near bridges needed to take place, but in a statement the group said separate work around path edges had been "considerably more extreme than we anticipated and less sensitively carried out".
Haringey Council said removing trees from bridges and underpasses was "essential", and that it had sent letters to around 400 residents informing them of the work. A spokesperson said signage had been in place at entrances to the Walk, and that the town hall was investing £3.6m in works to repair bridges at Vicarage Road, Upper Tollington and Stanhope Road.
Cllr Kirsten Hearn, the town hall's climate change, equalities and leisure chief, said: "Removing trees is never something we want to do – I completely understand and share residents’ disappointment.
"However, the bridge repair works are absolutely vital to allow residents to use them safely and to access Haringey’s beautiful Parkland Walk. We are entirely committed to creating a greener borough, and work tirelessly to keep our open spaces – and our streets – safe, clean and green.”