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Tree felling in Sydenham Hill Wood
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Posts: 95
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
05-08-2019 09:23 AM

There is a proposal by Southwark Council to fell two mature oak trees in Sydenham Hill Wood. They are on the western (Dulwich) side of the Cox's Walk footbridge. The reason given is that major repairs can be carried out to the bridge's abutments and the bridge itself. Although there is no doubt that these repairs are necessary, the question arises as to why the trees need to be cut down. It would seem that the bridge was rebuilt in the 1980s when the trees were already mature, so it is doubtful that they are the cause of the damage to the structure. Extensive root ingress by ivy seems more likely to be the cause. Removing the trees could cause heave to destabilise the cutting slope as water which would have been take up by the trees, remains in the soil. Furthermore, the main reason for removing the trees would seem to be allow easier access for Southwark Highways Department, an issue which did not seem to prevent the rebuilding works in the eighties. Oaks are vital to the woodland ecosystem, especially mature oaks like these. Surely a more ecologically sound way could be devised of making the repairs, without felling two important trees like these?

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Prickly Hedge

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2019
Post: #2
06-08-2019 09:32 AM

Mad Southwark Council have already given themselves permission to cut down these trees, after a sneaky 'public consultation' over Christmas last year. Please sign the petition to get Tree Preservation Orders on the trees until or unless the Council can show robust structural reasons why they need to be felled.

Thank You

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No Longer Registered

Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #3
06-08-2019 08:40 PM

Despite Lewisham constantly saying cuts have left them chronically short of cash they seem to be remarkably free and easy with the chain saw.

I have often noticed tree work being done for no apparent reason like the felling of one of the two Indian Bean trees in Boveney Road.

Are the Council ever subjected to an independent audit of why they commission and the volume of tree work?

It is something that local councillors should be challenging them on but sadly I can't see that happening in our little one party state.

Brexit may be painful but at least you get a debate.

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Posts: 95
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
07-08-2019 06:50 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with the last post. It was criminal to see the loss of one of the trees in question. Lewisham seems intend on de-Foresting the Hill! I noted with envy when Southwark planted hundreds of street trees while Lewisham was slapping tarmac in the holes where its street trees had been removed. However, this time it is Southwark who are the villains. As the trees earmarked to be felled are very close to SE23 border, it would be great if as many of us as possible could sign the petition - see link above.

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Prickly Hedge

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2019
Post: #5
31-10-2019 03:20 PM

Sad News. Despite nearly 2,000 people signing the Save the Footbridge Oaks petition, Southwark is insisting on going ahead. The trees could be cut down anytime from Saturday 2nd November. Southwark has refused to hold a public consultation and held all discussions behind closed doors. This is so unfair because the woods sit on the border with Lewisham and the many people from Forest Hill who use the woods regularly have not been given a voice. Emails to might help as she is the Council Deputy Leader and is leading on this.

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Posts: 154
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #6
12-11-2019 01:57 PM

E-mail send out by Southwark Highway Department to the Save Cox's Walk Oaks campaign today.

The proposed felling of the Oak trees adjacent to Cox’s Walk Footbridge. We wholly understand and appreciate your concerns, and in light of the issues raised we have decided to put the planned works on hold in order for an independent consultant to undertake a further evaluation of possible practical alternatives to the current proposed works.

During this time no works to the trees or the footbridge will take place. Local residents, campaigners and stakeholders will be contacted again in the near future to be advised on the next steps in the process.

All of the comments that have been made to date will also be logged and added to the consultation feedback. It is intended that a fact sheet will be sent out in the very near future that will address all of the concerns raised so far. This will be sent to all those that have provided comments and is intended to ensure that everyone is aware of the current situation and has the same level of information.

I would like to thank you for your interest in the protection of these trees.

If you should have any further queries on the above, please contact although as mentioned we will be contacting you again with a fact sheet.

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