Lewisham chopping more trees down than planting, in 'shocking' new stats

News Shopper: Lewisham Friends of the Earth coordinator Ted Burke Lewisham Friends of the Earth coordinator Ted Burke

Lewisham environmental campaigners say they are "shocked" more trees have being chopped down than planted in the last three years.

It has been revealed Lewisham Council felled 398 trees between 2010 to 2013 compared to planting 139, following an FOI by Jenny Jones AM.

News Shopper: Lewisham Friends of the Earth coordinator Ted Burke

Meanwhile Greenwich lost a massive 877 trees but replaced 1,090 in the same period.

Lewisham Friends of the Earth coordinator Ted Burke said: "It’s shocking that in Lewisham the council are cutting down many more trees than they’re planting, at a time when it’s never been more important for us to connect with nature.

"Following the smog cloud - and dangerous levels of air pollution in London - it’s clear we need to be investing more in the quality of our air and the environment.

"Trees are absolutely vital to that and I’d strongly urge the council to put quality of life for the people of Lewisham first - and building and development second."

Lewisham was one of seven London boroughs to lose more trees than it was replacing and Ms Jones is worried about the trend’s environmental and health impacts.

The Green Party member said: "At a time when we should be preserving and building up our street tree stocks to help cool and combat the health impacts of heatwaves, a number of boroughs are going backwards, chopping down more street trees than they are planting."

A Lewisham Council spokesman stressed although the figures appeared "disappointing", there were 425 trees planted compared to 167 lost between 2009 and 2010.

He said: "Street trees are only felled when they have been found to be in a dangerous condition or, less often, because they have caused damage to property and all reasonable attempts to preserve the tree have failed.

"We take pride in our reputation as being one of the greenest boroughs in south London and are committed to caring for our 9,300 street trees.

"We will also continue to work with our residents to seek opportunities to plant new ones.’’

Comments (3)

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9:11pm Sat 12 Apr 14

zampa says...

If the council looked after the trees, they wouldn't need felling in the first place.
"We will also continue to work with our residents to seek opportunities to plant new ones.’’ Whoever said this at the council needs to work with residents to have them trimmed, I have been trying for the past 4 years and the council "DO NOT LISTEN".
If the council looked after the trees, they wouldn't need felling in the first place. "We will also continue to work with our residents to seek opportunities to plant new ones.’’ Whoever said this at the council needs to work with residents to have them trimmed, I have been trying for the past 4 years and the council "DO NOT LISTEN". zampa
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Wed 16 Apr 14

GinaPh says...

I have lived on Elsiemaud Road for over 20 years. We used to have a nice tree lined road, like on Darfield Road SE4. The council have systematically removed tree after tree, not just on my road, but surrounding ones too and have not replaced one.
I would like to know why. Does Darfield Road have a council member living on it by any chance? There must be someone special living there as to why that is the only road that is still tree lined!
I have lived on Elsiemaud Road for over 20 years. We used to have a nice tree lined road, like on Darfield Road SE4. The council have systematically removed tree after tree, not just on my road, but surrounding ones too and have not replaced one. I would like to know why. Does Darfield Road have a council member living on it by any chance? There must be someone special living there as to why that is the only road that is still tree lined! GinaPh
  • Score: 0

8:46pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Suburbanman says...

Obviously, nothing is perfect and that includes councils - however, I personally know that Lewisham does a great deal to increase tree-planting as much as their funding allows. If anyone doubts this, they should come to the FREE conference "Trees in the City" on April 26th. A terrific line-up of high-profile speakers, and several council officers will be discussing their work. Full details can be found on http://brockleystree
ttrees.blogspot.co.u
k/p/april-2014.html
Obviously, nothing is perfect and that includes councils - however, I personally know that Lewisham does a great deal to increase tree-planting as much as their funding allows. If anyone doubts this, they should come to the FREE conference "Trees in the City" on April 26th. A terrific line-up of high-profile speakers, and several council officers will be discussing their work. Full details can be found on http://brockleystree ttrees.blogspot.co.u k/p/april-2014.html Suburbanman
  • Score: 0

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