And some aren’t even justified:
This comes from the London Assembly’s Environmental Report in May 2007.
A report reveals that up to 2,000 London street trees have been given the chop in the past five years, condemned by usually unwarranted subsidence claims.
In some boroughs up to 40 per cent of trees removed have been due to insurance claims. Yet the Assembly’s Environment Committee heard that barely one per cent of these claims were probably justified.
A survey showed that, over the past five years, 40 per cent of the 325 trees removed in Hackney, 16 per cent of 1,500 trees in Brent and ten per cent of the 600 trees in Camden have been removed because of subsidence claims.
The report highlights an urgent need for action from local authorities, landlords, developers and residents to increase the number of street trees as part of the battle against climate change.
It identifies measures to maintain and protect the capital’s trees, including:
Insurance companies must provide better quality investigations with nationally recognised guidance to avoid pointless subsidence claims
Developers should include broadleaf tree planting and maintenance in the design and planning of new developments
Borough street tree data must be maintained and updated to allow for effective monitoring of London’s treescape’
According to County Life magazine (21/1/09) lots of environmentally friendly broadleaved London plane trees are also being dug up.
It also says that a ‘Campaign has been launched to stop trees being designed out of future plans for urban development’. It goes on to say that ‘The Trees and Design Action Group, whose members include the Forestry Commission, Royal Parks and the Tree Council, plus landscape designers, insurance firms and academics, is trying to ensure that more large landscape trees are incorporated into future development proposals’.
The Forestry Commission states ‘if this issue is not addressed now, and if trees of the right scale and species are not incorporated, taking into account the anticipated change in climate, these towns will be come inhospitable places in which to live’.
As cyclists, we watch this sad destruction of London’s trees all the time. It is not often I see native trees being replanted on my cycle ride. Already much of East London is inhospitable as some parts are treeless.
In France, a lot of properties, say in Le Touquet, are surrounded by trees and they don’t seem to be dug up as much. You can even get up to 10 trees by the house. You only need to see Le Touquet and compare it with Stratford to see what a difference they make to the place.