Monday, 20 December 2010

More trees for everywhere APART from W12

H&F Council and Boris Johnson have announced loads more trees are to be planted around our borough, but there are to be NONE in Shepherd's Bush. On H&F Conservative website Councillor Harrry Phibbs trumpets the spreading of seedlings but a cursory look at the list reveals that our own postcode is nowhere to be seen.

In fact the forthcoming redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush Green is actually going to result in many of the trees currently there being chopped down to make way for boutique cafes and landscaping. When I first reported on this back in May 2009 I pointed out that this seemed to put our Council at odds with Mayor Johnson, but it seems that it's a numbers game - trees elsewhere means our own can be chopped down at will.

As the banner of this blog suggests I think walking across the Green with trees is one of the few brushes with nature people living in this corner of what is an inner London borough get - and I really don't see how their imminent demise is in any way a good thing. So great that trees are being planted elsewhere - I mean genuinely that's a good thing - but sadly it seems when it comes to the Bush our Council's committment to trees runs out.

1430 UPDATE: Councillor Greg Smith, Cabinet Member for Residents Services, and I have been debating this over on the Conservative's website and it seems they may have made more progress on trees on the Green than I was giving them credit for - he tells me they've actually changed their original plan which would have chopped down most of them to only chopping down some - but planting more, leaving us with actually more trees. Which seems fair enough. Here's his comment to me this afternoon:

"There are currently 102 trees on the Common. We will be planting 34 additional large specimen trees, including 4 Oak, 19 London Plane, 6 Silver birches and 5 flowering cherry. We are planning for the future by introducing boulevard tree planting that will establish itself to take the place of trees that eventually will die. (Our tree survey indicated that the perimeter trees have a life expectancy of just another 40 years). However, the number of trees to be felled has been reduced from the originally planned 20 to 12. In all, this will mean a net gain of 22 trees for the Common"

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