Trees in Lewisham

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JRW
Posts: 346
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Trees in Lewisham

Post by JRW » 27 May 2018 17:19

With the widespread distress over the felling of mature trees in Beckenham Place Park, we might look around for other threats to our trees.

The plans for the expansion of housing at the Hillcrest Estate have been drawn up blithely unaware that the estate trees are a protected remnant of the Great North Wood. The council plans to fell large numbers of trees, and reduce the green space available to the Estate's children.

Meanwhile, we need to keep an eye out for Network Rail's intentions to fell trackside trees nationwide. Their aim is to fell trees, by some accounts within 60 metres of the track.

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communiti ... anagement/
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theg ... fall-trees
https://www.railstaff.uk/2018/05/14/rai ... nt-review/
The programme is on hold for a few months, but this is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Lewisham Council's care of the local street and park trees has been cut to the point that some are put at risk. Nationwide, starting in Sheffield, councils seem to be neglecting mature trees, then declaring them 'unsafe', so they can be felled and replaced with little lollipop trees that will need minimal maintenance for years to come. It saves money, but Sydenham's charm and identity is linked to trees and parks, and once lost, mature trees are gone for ever.

JGD
Posts: 615
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Perry Hill, SE6 (yup that's Catford)

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by JGD » 28 May 2018 09:28

JRW wrote:
Lewisham Council's care of the local street and park trees has been cut to the point that some are put at risk. .
Cannot speak to the overall degree to which tree care programmes may have been cut back. But it is not wholesale.

We sitll can observe effective pollarding being carried out in many locations for example.

JRW
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Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by JRW » 28 May 2018 09:52

The posher areas are prioritised, because their residents complain vigorously.. Fairlawn Park was not touched for many years, and all requests were ignored. We had to tackle ourselves a tree that regularly blocks the pavement. All ignored until a crew arrived at midnight to brutally over-pollard an overgrown tree that had a dangerous branch. They kindly entertained us by woodchipping the huge bulk of branches culled, so nobody got much sleep that night. Meanwhile, its companion, equally overgrown, is still untouched. The cost of that emergency call out of a commercial tree surgeon on double or triple time, could have funded proper maintenance for a decade.

Growsydenham
Posts: 98
Joined: 27 Jan 2018 09:23
Location: sydenham

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by Growsydenham » 28 May 2018 10:16

JRW wrote: The plans for the expansion of housing at the Hillcrest Estate have been drawn up blithely unaware that the estate trees are a protected remnant of the Great North Wood. The council plans to fell large numbers of trees, and reduce the green space available to the Estate's children.
Let's be precise.

The Hillcrest Estate plans would remove 11 trees, in order to provide new council homes for 21 families. Of which, one is dead, and two require removal due to defects, and others are of suboptimal form due to light suppression. What's more, as the arboricultural survey makes clear, removing some of these trees will allow more light to access the oaks and grass underneath, and allow other surrounding trees to open up. Whether for new buildings or not, removing trees is a normal part of the woodland management process, and not always a conspiracy.

I wonder how many trees were felled to build my house? Or the High Street? Or the Thorpes?

JRW
Posts: 346
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by JRW » 28 May 2018 11:48

It's a huge subject. I am passionate about creating more social housing, but not at the cost of safety for the tenants. The Gateway block, which requires tree felling, would narrow the single access road to the entire estate, which would potentially restrict access to emergency services. Nor has the site been checked for stability or the presence of underground streams, therefore creating a flooding risk. More homes need to be safe homes, and the council appears to have skimped on their homework. I would rather see a modular pop up village like PLACELadywell, and get the permanent build right.

syd
Posts: 269
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Location: lower sydenham

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by syd » 28 May 2018 12:41

The council has form.

The beautiful cherry blossom tree was destroyed by the council and replaced by three saplings. It was at least 20 years old and it was removed without consultation. The poor end of the borough get the rough treatment from (new) labour.

https://sydenham.org.uk/forum/viewtopic ... a3c#p93402

They’d never do that in a posh area.

Growsydenham
Posts: 98
Joined: 27 Jan 2018 09:23
Location: sydenham

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by Growsydenham » 28 May 2018 16:15

JRW wrote:Nor has the site been checked for stability or the presence of underground streams, therefore creating a flooding risk. More homes need to be safe homes, and the council appears to have skimped on their homework.
I'm sorry but this rumour isn't true either. The 350-page geotechnical survey has been published along with the rest of the application. It shows no risk of flooding or stability risks, and shows the site is well away from any underground watercourses. The fire tender access plans are also included. Please let's not scaremonger.

Tim Lund
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Location: Silverdale

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by Tim Lund » 28 May 2018 17:10

JRW, can you say where you are getting your information from on this?

Growsydenham is going to the trouble of searching 350 page technical reports. What are you looking at?

JRW
Posts: 346
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by JRW » 28 May 2018 20:59

Dear GrowSydenham and Tim,

As you will see, my original post was a round up of current tree related issues and by no means a stand against all development. I understand woodland management, and the importance of felling, coppicing and pollarding in maintaining small urban remnants of ancient woodland.

Caring about trees does not mean I am uncaring about homelessness. This is the classic response used down to shut down discussion and disparage opposition, so the council can push their plans through. This is how we ended up with misguided developments in the 1960s; I want our public housing to be the best it can be, and this plan could use some more work.

The London Wildlife Trust describes the Hillcrest Wood as an important ancient woodland habitat, bursting with birds, bats and bees. If they say the plans are ok, then that is fine. An independent assessment is needed to balance the assesment paid for by the developers.

I won't go over your other points, and leave it here. I am happy to respect everyone as being potentially knowledgeable, and not demand to see their qualifications. Because you know things, it doesn't mean that other people have nothing to offer to the discussion.

owlwise
Posts: 210
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Location: Upper Sydenham

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by owlwise » 30 May 2018 16:44

The giant majestic 200 year old tree on the junction of Thakeham Close, SE26 and Lawrie Park Gardens is currently being felled :( It is on private land destroying the low level wall and pavement. However, the tree was there before the Close was built! It was around in 1820. It's taken them two full days to remove its huge branches. Probably will take a few more to remove the huge (over 100ft) trunk.

So verysad to see it go. :(

Tim Lund
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Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by Tim Lund » 30 May 2018 20:16

JRW wrote:Dear GrowSydenham and Tim,

...

The London Wildlife Trust describes the Hillcrest Wood as an important ancient woodland habitat, bursting with birds, bats and bees. If they say the plans are ok, then that is fine. An independent assessment is needed to balance the assesment paid for by the developers.
Have you asked LWT if they are happy with the work they are doing on Hillcrest Wood?

This event is coming up in July

https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/events/20 ... crest-wood

TredownMan
Posts: 157
Joined: 28 Sep 2017 15:38
Location: Sydenham

Re: Trees in Lewisham

Post by TredownMan » 3 Jun 2018 10:46

I'm struck by the volume of aggression towards the council and in particular Lewisham Homes on this site. Of course it's right to debate proposals, weigh up the pros and cons and scrutinise what they do. But these continual accusations of dishonesty, negligence and even putting people's safety at risk when there's no evidence for it is not constructive.

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