Finsbury Park tree vandalism

I've just been told that Haringey Council have dug up 200 saplings in Finsbury Park because they'll interfere with the fences for live music events. The trees had been planted by Friends Of Finsbury Park.

Can anyone here confirm or expand on this?


    A month ago we planted a lot of trees in agreement with park staff. Located around the Richard Hope Play Space, they sought to give shade to a recessed area that lacks tree cover and gets overly warm.

    Two week ago, we heard informally that Parks HQ didn't like the location. And a *suggestion* that it infringes on Event space for Wireless Festival (you read right – trees might marginally infringe on their ability to put up a three metre high fence through the summer). We asked for clarification.

    Late on Thursday night, we finally received a formal reply – 'a mistake’s been made' and they shouldn't be planted there. Nothing to do with Events, of course. We met park staff on Friday and stepped through concerns – all manageable and not requiring 200 trees to be ripped out.

    They proposed moving the trees inside the play area – but they are about to lay a 1.2m wide disabled access track … so where exactly would you put the trees?

    Beyond space for path (and play …), the southern side is a bit dry. We don't think putting them inside the fence would work, but; perhaps it would on the northern edge near the cafe; and maybe a mistake was made? We proposed an urgent meeting and ask that no action were taken.

    At 4 PM on Friday 22 April 2022—within hours of meeting—all the trees were literally ripped out of the ground. They were already sprouting and now, will likely die.

    SO WHAT?
    It's hard to engage on council talk of community 'co-production' when residents are so often ignored; and Manifestos, that talk of planting lots more trees, when council staff are ripping them out!

    Incredibly frustrating and totally avoidable. Environment Cabinet Member Cllr @mikehakata has been supportive but the council officer culture has got to change.
  • This is really depressing. What a stupid VC mess of mixed messages, failed consultations and swift dodgy decisions - unconvincing in every way ????
  • And apologies for random phone additions. No VCs have any place here, military or academic, and the question marks are a mystery ????
  • Thanks for the explanation @Sulker
    How utterly depressing though.
    Climate and ecological emergency? What climate and ecological emergency.
    Is there anything can be done to hold these vandals to account?
  • Victoria Crosses / Vice Chancellors maybe?
  • AliAli
    edited May 2022
    Was it really 200 saplings as that is a lot, I assume that you would have to plant them a couple of metres apart to allow space for them to grow until they get to a decent size say 20 years of growth. It would be at that point you would get the shade. Working it out you would need space the size of the football pitch. I went to investigate at the Robert Hope site and didn't see much evidence of holes although there were a few about 6 feet away from the fence I am a little mystetfiedy this
  • edited May 2022
  • Makes a mockery of Haringey Council’s claim to become a green Council - now that the election is over they won’t even have to pretend.
  • This is beyond outragous! What can we do to hold them accountable?
  • edited July 2022
    See also the thread on 'Oakfield Road tree campaign' - attend the meeting on Thursday at St Aiden's to hold Haringey Council to account.
  • Is it not the Insurance company that is playing games with the council
  • It's the insurance companies yes (two of them), but the council is also playing dirty games with the campaigners and residents.

    One of the homeowners has been fighting their insurance company for years, and the matter is due to go to the ombudsman soon. BUT the council has rushed to deliver a notice to quit and a court order BEFORE that ombudsman hearing.

    Also the campaigners have been asking for a public meeting for months.
    The council offered an informal meeting at the tree with short notice.
    Then the council finally set a date for a public meeting, but put in the notice to quit and seeking court order BEFORE that meeting.

    They've also at the last minute said the campaigners can only ask questions but not give any presentation to the public at that meeting! This is despite local concillor Eldridge Culverton some time ago making clear to the council what was being proposed. The last minute edict was sent on Sunday, just days before the meeting.

    I understand the council is in a difficult position fighting large insurance companies, but they've behaved very badly rather than trying to work with the campaigners.

    This may be just one tree, but it's a story repeated across the borough (200 trees set to go) and across the country (1000s and 1000s), so someone somewhere has to make a stand and get laws changed and policies like open tree pits and community irrigation in place.

    Public meeting at St Aiden's on Thursday evening.
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