IslingtonTribune

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The hit-list of trees is growing

12 February, 2021

An aerial view of the trees protest camp at Dixon Clark Court in Highbury. Photo: Alison Gosper

• THE magnificent 300-year-old tree in St Mary Magdalene churchyard was recently calculated to be worth £1.6million using a system called CAVAT – Capital Asset Valuation of Amenity Trees – which is used by councils and recognised by courts to protect trees at risk from being cut down.

Islington Council’s hit-list of trees for the chop is growing. Not only the mature healthy trees at Dixon Clark Court but now we see a 70-year-old mulberry at the entrance of Park View estate being earmarked for felling – after local residents had Islington Council’s assurances that it would be saved.

Tree experts estimate that it could live healthily for another 200 years. Petition to try to save the tree at: https://www.change.org/p/islington-council-save-our-mulberry-tree-park-view-estate-london

News of this latest environmental assault only appeared after the High Court had pronounced on January 29 that the council could continue with its ill-conceived development of the Dixon Clark Court site and, ultimately, their destruction of the “little forest” which has been there for over 52 years and, which at the time of writing, remains alive.

But here’s a thought; based on the formula for the CAVAT for the 300-year-old tree and putting aside the many benefits the public, at least, recognise and appreciate, such as providing shade, carbon storage, and mental health, that would make a tree “worth” an average of £5,333 a year; perhaps less when young but increasing as they mature.

So the trees at Dixon Clark Court are “worth” £1.6million and rising. Perhaps every tree under threat from the developer/council axe should have a CAVAT if it hasn’t got a TPO, tree protection order, already.

A reminder – only 1 per cent of Islington’s trees have a TPO. Petition here: http://chng.it/Ykp8LwmGKL

Where’s the next tree to be sacrificed? Seems like there’s no stopping the council-led arboreral massacre in our borough.

EILIDH MURRAY, N1

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