A war on trees? ‘post-truth’ or simply lies?

Somers Town faces losing more trees for no apparent reason –  a leaked council letter reveals. Anyone with a modicum of sense knows that trees protect us against toxic air, recently found to be the cause of dementia and to slow learning in children, and rightly high on Mayor Sadiq Khan’s agenda. But not content with plans to build towers on green spaces, it seems now Camden Council are intent on hacking down perfectly healthy trees – not those dead or dying –  for the spurious reasons of the threat of roots expanding and potential for insurance claims.

Notices are to be placed on trees only 10 days in advance, giving locals little chance to challenge decision to cut down these trees. A letter leaked to this blog sent to ward councillors from Camden’s Arboricultural Manager outlines their proposed ‘communication plan’ which, because this ‘can be a sensitive and emotive subject for local residents’ states that the notices will say the trees are ‘‘dead, dying, dangerous or hazardous’ – even when they are not. So is it that we are being lied to? We certainly are in a post-truth world.

“This programme is different to the routine tree removal notifications you may have received previously, which normally would be for dead, dying or dangerous trees identified during our cyclical inspection regime. We have a number of trees which are too big for the streets and their roots are causing or about to cause problems to nearby buildings and infrastructure. Some of them are subject to insurance claims. These are large trees which are not suited to regular pollarding work so the only solution is to remove them. All the trees will be replaced”

In Somers Town it seems the council are all too keen to chop down trees or hack off branches, without consultation,  leaving stunted trunks, replacing mature trees with bare saplings which often don’t survive. Tree are vital to health, and the lungs  of our area, and often the only splash of green in a barren urban landscape.

Oh, if you are concerned about the haste with which this is happening. do contact your ward councillors with concerns and do by all means contact Camden Council’s Arboricultural Dept:   020 7974 2097.