The independent London newspaper

Protect Highbury Corner trees or we will have a dustbowl

20 April, 2018

An artist’s impression of how the revamped Highbury Corner will look when finished

• WE are delighted to see in Transport for London’s updated plans for the redesign of Highbury Corner that only part of the arboretum at the centre of the roundabout will be open to the public – the north-west corner adjoining the new pedestrian area.

As TfL has now acknowledged, the trees in this precious oasis grow in unusually shallow topsoil, with their roots very close to the surface and easily damaged. Closing off the greater part of the arboretum is the only way to preserve them.

However, the trees in the newly-open area at the north-west corner, where dozens of people from the pedestrian area will be walking every day, are just as much at risk, especially with no path.

TfL talks about working with arbori­cultural experts and creating “a new high-quality place”. But what are the actual plans for protecting these trees?

And what are the planting and management plans for the grass and under-planting in what will be a much-trodden area? The last thing we want is a dustbowl.

We also need more management detail about the main part of the arboretum. A couple of the trees are dead, many are in a bad state – dead branches, underfed, unpruned and degraded. What is the management plan for restoring and maintaining this plantation?

TfL states that “every­thing necessary should be done to preserve the integrity of the arbore­tum for future gener­ations”. We’d like to see detailed plans about how this will be done in the medium and long term.


London Parks and Gardens Trust, N7


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