Up to 2000 London trees have been chopped down

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.


One response to “Up to 2000 London trees have been chopped down

  1. Plane Trees are Excellent for Controlling Polution,they produce a lot of Oxygen.

    Over Here in Dublin we had the same Problem as London with Subsidence.We had a Lot of Cherry Trees in Various Suburban Areas at the side of the Road and they looked Beautiful. They were in Various Coloured Flowers,Red,Copper ,Various Pinks,and some Apple Greens.
    Because of various Claims of Accidents with People supposedly Tripping up on them they were Chopped down in all but a few Places,they are only to be seen inside Parks and in Schools and on Common Land.
    In O’connell Street we had a lot of Trees with Birds Nesting in them.But when they Widened the Central Aisle or Promonade they Chopped down the Trees because now they were in the way of Traffic. Instead they put down New Trees that would not get in the way ,so in a way they Redressed the Balance. TheDublin City Council has Planted more Trees around the Various Areas and it looks nice with all the Trees. In Housing Estates a lot of Trees get Destroyed that are newly Planted unfortunately,so we have a lot of Delinquents here as well. Where I live are Narrow little Roads that are to small for Roadside Trees ,so I Planted a couple in my front Garden together with Shrubs.A lot of the Front Gardens now are CobbleBlocked or worse Concreted over so no Gardens at all. My front and back Gardens are a Miniature Forest.
    On the Main Roads outside the Estate are Mature Trees of at least 30-40 Years Old mostly I would say of Maple,but the Cherry Trees are gone unfortunately because these are the worst for unsettling the ground.

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