Queen's Wood: Conservation group calls for halt to 'invasive' flood scheme

Friends of Queen's Wood - David Warren, John Dorken and Lucy Roots.

Friends of Queen's Wood - David Warren, John Dorken and Lucy Roots - next to Frog Pond in the wood. They're upset at 'invasive' plans for new flood defences. - Credit: Polly Hancock

A planned flood prevention scheme in Queen's Wood has met with opposition from a local conservation group. 

Haringey Council is currently consulting on work which would see the construction of an "open watercourse" in the wood, along with new drainage ditches.

It is part of a scheme the town hall says is necessary to protect homes in Wood Vale from flooding.

The Friends of Queen's Wood (FoQW) has launched a leaflet campaign urging people living in the Crouch End and Muswell Hill area to "say no" to the scheme before the public consultation ends on April 6.

The FoQW believes that the scheme is being "rushed through" and that the work proposed would both be invasive, cause problems for trees and biodiversity, and bring with it "uncertain benefits". 

David Warren, Lucy Roots and John Dorken of the Friends of Queen's Wood are concerned new flood works could impact on trees

David Warren, Lucy Roots and John Dorken of the Friends of Queen's Wood are concerned new flood works could impact on the roots of trees in the wood. - Credit: Polly Hancock

The group's chair, John Dorken, told this newspaper: "We are towards the end of the consultation period which ends on April 6. We as the Friends of Queen's Wood have decided to oppose and object vigorously to the scheme. It's very invasive, and would harm a conservation area."

He raised concerns about how the work to construct the elements of the scheme would impact on the ancient woodland.

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John said: "There'd be these open ditches, and we can't see how that's going to add to the amenity for visitors of the wood either."

Another member to criticise the scheme, Janet Shapiro, wrote to Haringey Council: "As it stands, the scheme threatens to destroy what many of us have sought to protect."

The group want the flood works to be paused so they can be "properly examined" and it is able to work with the council on adaptations.

John Dorken, chair of the Friends of Queen's Wood.

John Dorken, chair of the Friends of Queen's Wood. - Credit: Polly Hancock

A Haringey Council spokesperson said: “The public consultation on our proposals for Queen’s Wood remains open until Tuesday 6 April, and we’re still keen to receive as much feedback as possible from the Friends, Haringey residents and visitors to the wood itself and the borough overall.

“Once this public consultation has closed, we will consider all the responses carefully and – where necessary and appropriate – adapt the scheme and the way it is undertaken accordingly.

“We readily understand that the Friends want answers to their questions, and for the works to be carried out in a way that doesn’t cause lasting damage to this ancient woodland. The council supports their position.”

Find the consultation here.

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