IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Trees and green spaces are vital for wellbeing

20 November, 2020

• THE pandemic has made us all more aware of how important green space and trees are, not just for the environment, but also for everyone’s mental health and wellbeing.

Islington is one of the least green boroughs in the United Kingdom and now the council is making the situation even worse. We need more council housing and the trees for public health.

In June 2019 Islington Council declared a climate emergency. By 2030 two-thirds of existing homes are expected to be too hot for health and comfort due to the urban heat island effect in summer.

Islington residents need our mature trees to keep cool in ever hotter summers. Protection of our existing mature trees, as well as planting of new ones to grow for the benefit of future communities, should therefore be a key plank of council policy.

I strongly support the building of new and desperately needed council homes but I hope that in future the council will avoid schemes that involve the felling of trees or building over community gardens. This is not just an isolated example of the council’s attitude to trees.

In September 2020 I returned from teaching to find that a mature tree was cut down on the Elizabeth Kenny House estate where I live. We had no warning from a council that doesn’t seem to listen or communicate with its residents.

The tree not only made Islington’s air cleaner and provided valuable shade in ever hotter days but also gave my mind and senses an immeasurable respite over the last few months.

ERNESTAS JEGOROVAS-ARMSTRONG
Islington Green Party

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