South Hampstead neighbours mourn tree felled by Storm Christoph

A before and after shot of the "much-loved" willow

A before and after shot of the "much-loved" willow - Credit: Kenteas Brine/Ivana Marevic

Neighbours in South Hampstead are mourning the loss of a decades-old willow tree which collapsed in the wake of Storm Christoph on Thursday.  

The "much-loved" tree was the focal point of the roundabout connecting Fairfax Road, Loudon Road, Belsize Road and Hillgrove Road – but it was uprooted by strong winds in the early hours of the morning.  

All that now remains of the willow is its imperious roots after tree surgeons cleared the site shortly after it was struck down. The remaining works will be completed this weekend.  

Camden Council says a replacement tree is being sought but that its planting could be put back until next winter if “no suitable species is available this season”. 

Alan Mason, vice-chairman of the Combined Residents Associations of South Hampstead, said: "CRASH has long-battled to preserve trees, especially mature specimens, in the South Hampstead Conservation Area, so it is saddened by the loss of this fine, much-loved, tree."

The fallen tree was cut down by workers to make the site safe

The fallen tree was cut down by workers to make the site safe - Credit: Kenteas Brine

Children have been playing on the remaining roots

Children have been playing on the remaining roots - Credit: Kenteas Brine


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South Hampstead resident Kenteas Brine, who could see the willow from her balcony, said its dismantling was a “sad sight” and that its loss would be felt hugely by the local community. 

She recalled “magical moments lending peace and reflection” under the tree.  

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“A beacon of peaceful reflection has been lost,” she said.  

In all its former glory

In all its former glory - Credit: Kenteas Brine

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