SHIFT and the Community Tree Campaigners are so shocked at the devastation on the Parkland Walk and the massive amount of tree-felling going on throughout the borough that we have launched the following petition. We feel that in a climate crisis one of the quickest fixes available is to stop felling trees, now!

Please support us in our petition to the council,

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  • Forwarded from local resident Gordon Peters:

    From: Giovanna Iozzi <>
    Sent: Saturday, April 3, 2021 8:25:34 PM
    Subject: PARKLAND WALK TREE FELLING OVERKILL - the fight goes on
    Community Tree Protectors, Haringey

    Dear all,

    Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you all and thanks for putting your names on our mailing list a few weeks ago.

    The council have made a catalogue of environmental errors during the Parkland Walk felling - for bridges that may or may not need repair. They have cleared everything within 5metres to find out if there is damage for engineering inspectors, not because they know there is damage. There has been ni nuanced approach or sensitivity for the wildlife or trees on the nature reserve, home to rare bats, birds and insects. At the end of this email is a DAMMING statement and assessment of the project's handling of this wildlife reserve from 'The Friends of the Parkland Walk.'  175 trees have been felled, some valuable oaks at the Muswell Hill end have been decimated. They were supposed to fell 80. This is beyond tragic and we're in a Climate Crisis.

    The fight goes on. Although we have temporality stopped the council felling the few remaining mature trees around the bridges, they plan to do more cutting in the next week or so.


    Our petition to stop further felling on the PW is here - please sign and spread it far and wide!
    There is also a council e-petition going on for a wider demand to stop tree felling in Haringey generally.

    Please print out and post our flyer around (ATTACHED) if you can and share with friends and residents.
    If you tweet, please tag @haringeycouncil @Friends_of_PW and @parklandwalk

    If you want to join our WhatsApp Group, email me your number.

    Here is a list of names and people to contact at the council to keep the outrage up:

    Do contact and keep the pressure up on Haringey's trees and environment department:
    David Theakston (Head of Parks Projects and this project),
    Head of Parks & Leisure, Simon Farrow
     Alex Fraser (Tree Manager):
     Clare Pappalardo (Tree Officer), 
    Anabel Foskett (Conservation officer)
    Ward Officers: Climate Change councillor Kirsten Hearn,
    Ward Councillor Stroud Green Eldridge Culverwell etc

    Best wishes 
    Giovanna Iozzi 
    (I really hope not too many of your emails come back undeliverable!) 

    Friends of Parkland Walk Statement 

    Recent vegetation and bridge clearance
    An immense amount of our attention over the last couple of months has been focussed around the tree and vegetation clearance commissioned by Haringey Parks department. Direct action by protesters has done much to stall the works to establish exactly what is essential, and how these works should be carried out in future.
    The Friends have not endorsed the council’s approach. As 'critical friends' we will be pressing for a number of very important questions to be answered with a view to getting assurances for the future.
    It’s worth first noting that the Friends do accept there is a need for trees to be managed, most obviously where they can impact on bridge structures where repairs are complicated and extremely expensive. But there are also many arguments for the benefits of breaking the woodland 'dark canopy' where the ground can become ecologically derelict and this can involve cutting back or even removing trees. Bringing light into the woodland and its edges stimulates adoption of open ground by pioneer flora which then benefits invertebrates and the wider ecology. Recommendations to that strategy do already exist in the Council's Management Plan for the Parkland Walk.
    That said, there are questions the council needs to answer:
    1) In the past, Conservation Officers have visited areas of the Parkland Walk prior to tree management and made localised judgements on a tree-by-tree basis leading to the marking of trees to assist contractors. This was not carried out on this occasion despite it being the biggest intervention on the Parkland Walk since it was declared a Local Nature Reserve. We are asking why this did not happen.
    2) The Parks Department, in its defence of criticism that the work was carried out without relevant expertise informing the process, has stated that the Tree Officer and the Conservation Officer were both briefed on the works and were satisfied with the instructions presented to the contractor. The Friends believe that such a significant intervention should have required the Tree Officer and Conservation Officer to carry out a thorough survey and produce an Ecology Report that assessed the current ecological value and the potential impact of works. This would inform a guideline document that should be used by any contractors carrying out works on the Walk.
    The Parks Department has been unable to provide any documentation that suggests the relevant officers were tasked in carrying out an assessment or writing a set of recommendations and guidelines. It is also clear that the engineers’ initial blanket assessment that all trees within 5 metres of a bridge structure should be felled was made without regard for the special sensitivity of the site or factors around relative damage risks. The fact that this original assessment is now being reviewed raises the question of why this approach was not adopted in the first place.
    3) The Parks Project Officer did consult with the Friends but the concerns expressed were not clearly expressed in the brief that was supplied to the contractors which raises questions about the Council’s engagement and consultation processes.
    4) The Management Plan for the Parkland Walk that was drawn up in 2009 and is still contained within the current 2015 Management Plan gives instructions about the handling of felled material and ‘arisings’ from tree and vegetation management. In a number of places clear references are made to creation of log and brush piles. There is no reference to chipping of arisings as a suitable method of disposal.
    Section 3.1.8 states that 'all timber produced through woodland management should be retained on site in order to build up a supply of deadwood in varying stages of decay.' Also, 'a precautionary approach erring on the side of minimising habitat damage must be taken.' And in section 3.3.6. 'All cut materials from management works should preferably be removed from site or used to create habitat piles, dead hedges and other barriers.' 6.1.5 'Where possible, twiggy material should be retained on site and used for site management (screening, blocking informal access points and paths etc. These specifications have not been adhered to.
    5) In addition to the points above, the contractors also carried out other aspects of the work in such a way that indicates no respect for the area being a nature reserve. Swathes of daffodil and bluebell bulbs on the Muswell Hill embankment were brush cut. Felled material was also stacked on top of bulbs. Other stretches of the Walk show that significant numbers of fruit-bearing trees of a size that would cause no damage to structures or path were cut to the ground. Some trees were well behind the path edge line. Vegetation was also brush cut in some areas resulting in the path reaching an overall width of 15 metres. Logs have been left haphazardly and unsympathetically to ecological or aesthetic considerations.
    6) The Parks Department has sought to defend its path-widening efforts by referencing public safety responsibilities following increased footfall due to Covid lockdowns. It should be first noted that natural footfall had increased the path width months before the council carried out its vegetation cutback. It's also worth noting that edge cutbacks would generally be carried out at the height of summer when rampant vegetation, notably bramble, causes the path to narrow. A cutback during winter is fairly pointless.
    7) No differentiation seems to have been made between large arched Victorian road bridges and a modern concrete underpass with respect to the relative damage risks and repair costs. This has resulted in a number of large healthy trees being felled in Muswell Hill where there were no signs of any damage.
    8) During the course of the works concerns have been raised that there appeared to be a chronic lack of monitoring and site management by the commissioning department. The Friends were told that both the Tree Officer and the Conservation Officer had been on site and had inspected the operations. However, we have seen no evidence of this and neither have we been provided with any report or documentation that should have resulted from a site inspection, although this has been requested.
    All these questions point to a sense that there have been serious failings at all levels within the assessment, commissioning and site-management procedures. Lack of documentation backing up claims by Parks Officers also raises questions about how much involvement certain officers had and, if there has been significant involvement, why changes to the work practices were not apparent especially given the information that was readily available in the Council’s own current Management Plan. It is also noticeable that neither the Tree Officer or the Conservation Officer have made any significant public statements despite the clear anger and concern that has been demonstrated by protestors and stakeholder groups.
    The Friends are pursuing answers to all these questions.
  • Signed!

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