A nine-year-old eco-warrior from Lee has petitioned the council to stop cutting down trees after her “favourite tree” was cut down before her eyes.

Year 5 pupil Sophie Cooper’s campaign has gained more200 signatures in two days as she argues trees being cut down “are not dying or in any way harming anyone.”

In June, determined Sophie demanded answers from Lewisham Council after her favourite tree on Senlac Road was felled while she watched on in horror and broke down in tears.

Shortly after the letter was sent, Sophie’s proud mum Andrea told News Shopper her daughter had “a really caring, massive heart.”

News Shopper:

In an emotive letter to the council, the aspiring environmentalist wrote: “Why did you cut it down? What did it do to you?

“It makes me feel very sad and mad. What about the birds that lived there?

“Please, please stop. If you don’t, then I will write more letters.”

News Shopper:

Councillor Sophie McGeevor told News Shopper the tree on Senlac Road was a “potential hazard” which had to be removed, but the young activist is still fighting for trees in the area.

According to Mrs Cooper, Lewisham Council promised Sophie the chance to plant her own tree after receiving her letter in June – but four months on, this has still not happened.

A Lewisham Council spokeswoman confirmed Sophie's maple tree will be ordered soon and the Council will be in touch with the family when it is ready to be planted.

Sophie’s petition, started on Wednesday evening, reads: “It really makes me sad to keep seeing so many of our beautiful trees being cut down where we live. Trees that are homes to so much wildlife.”

It adds: “When I look around the streets where I live it looks bare in so many places where big beautiful trees once stood.”

News Shopper:

Mrs Cooper told News Shopper: “Since Sophie wrote that letter [the Council] has cut down a few more trees the next few roads from us.

“It still really upsets her. There was one not long ago cut down in Exford Road and they did it so quickly and smoothed it all over.”

She added her daughter was “so surprised” to see how quickly her petition had picked up support.

The Council spokeswoman said: “We admire Sophie’s concern about the environment and share her appreciation of trees.

"We only remove trees when they have been identified as being dead or dying, when they pose a health and safety risk to the public or when they are implicated in damaging property and there is no other course of action that we can take to resolve the problem and retain the tree.

"We will always try to replace any trees we remove.” 

Since her passion for the environment was fuelled in climate change lessons at St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School, Sophie has been active in trying to preserve the natural world wherever she can.

Just a few weeks ago, she marched on Westminster with her Brownies group to protest against plastic in the oceans.

She has also had stern conversations with her dad, Rob, about buying products that contain palm oil.

“They’re cutting down trees in the rainforest for palm oil and soon the orangutans won’t have a home,” Sophie explained.