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