Residents of an historic, tree-lined South Croydon street reacted with horror this morning when they discovered that the council is intending to hack down almost all of Mulgrave Road’s plum trees.
According to the council, the mature trees – some nearly 100 years old – represent a health and safety hazard because, well, they are just a bit wonky.
“The council claims it doesn’t have the money to pay for the grass to be cut in our parks,” one angry South Croydon resident said today, “yet they can go out and commit this kind of eco-vandalism.”
Council workmen were expected to do their worst to the Mulgrave Road trees today – the same day that the International Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, published its latest report which confirms that mankind’s destruction of the natural environment is causing irreparable damage to the planet. Some of the changes are now inevitable and “irreversible”, according to the climate scientists.
The council continue to spend £10million per year to burn the borough’s rubbish at the polluting Beddington Lane incinerator. Recent figures show that 65 per cent of the borough’s waste is fed into the incinerator’s furnaces.
And while announcing schemes to get the public to cough up in order to “sponsor” the planting of saplings, the council is wielding the axe to much-loved, mature street trees (as environmental campaigner George Monbiot wrote yesterday, “There’s no substitute for an ancient tree”).
Sources at the cash-strapped council say that they have no budget for at least the next two years to replace any damaged or felled trees, which makes the apparently rushed decision to carry out the fellings now all the less explicable.
Mulgrave Road and its old plum trees lies off Park Lane and runs up to the Brighton mainline railway. It is in a conservation area.
“Locals are in uproar,” according to a resident. “Only two of the trees have rotten branches. The rest are healthy and all are full of fruit.”
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