Croydon Council, which has declared a climate emergency and claims it wants to be a green borough, is chopping down and pollarding trees in one of its parks.
In the middle of the bird-nesting season.
Members of the Friends of Ashburton Park have expressed their dismay and disquiet over the work being undertaken by contractors to fell several apparently healthy, mature trees for “health and safety reasons”.
The fate of the trees often appears to have been determined by their positioning – close to the park’s iron railings – suggesting that, mostly, trees are being removed as a precautionary measure to avoid the council having any liabilities in the event that the tree might come down.
One Inside Croydon reader, who approached the workmen as they were pollarding a healthy tree in full springtime leaf and who mentioned that such work should never be conducted during the nesting season was told, tersely, “We ain’t seen no birds.”
The timing of this crass act of eco-vandalism is suspected to be more to do with the borough’s budgeting periods than anything to do with good husbandry.
The council had written to the Friends of Ashburton Park, stating that their “contractor will be commencing works in the very near future subject to covid-19 constraints. With the new financial year, firm ground conditions and with no other events going at the moment this is a good time to get in and deal with various tree issues.
“The majority of the work is pruning however as previously stated the trees marked with X are to be removed due to health and safety-related issue.”
Or, as council leader Tony Newman said only a week ago, “We must not lose sight of the environmental challenges we still face…”, before adding some other insincere guff about working “to create a better, more environmentally sustainable borough”.
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