From Friends of Finsbury Park email:
On Earth Day, 22 April, Haringey Council officers order 200 new trees to be ripped-out from Finsbury Park!
Read on; but reflect on the culture of Haringey Council staff and who is in charge.
A month ago we planted a lot of trees in agreement with park staff. Located around the Richard Hope Play Space, they sought to give shade to a recessed area that lacks tree cover and gets overly warm.
Two week ago, we heard informally that Parks HQ didn't like the location. And a *suggestion* that it infringes on Event space for Wireless Festival (you read right – trees might marginally infringe on their ability to put up a three metre high fence through the summer). We asked for clarification.
Late on Thursday night, we finally received a formal reply – 'a mistake’s been made' and they shouldn't be planted there. Nothing to do with Events, of course. We met park staff on Friday and stepped through concerns – all manageable and not requiring 200 trees to be ripped out.
They proposed moving the trees inside the play area – but they are about to lay a 1.2m wide disabled access track … so where exactly would you put the trees?
Beyond space for path (and play …), the southern side is a bit dry. We don't think putting them inside the fence would work, but; perhaps it would on the northern edge near the cafe; and maybe a mistake was made? We proposed an urgent meeting and ask that no action were taken.
At 4 PM on Friday 22 April 2022—within hours of meeting—all the trees were literally ripped out of the ground. They were already sprouting and now, will likely die.
It's hard to engage on council talk of community 'co-production' when residents are so often ignored; and Manifestos, that talk of planting lots more trees, when council staff are ripping them out!
Incredibly frustrating and totally avoidable. Environment Cabinet Member Cllr @mikehakata has been supportive but the council officer culture has got to change.
Shocking. Happy earth day.
What an utter waste. I would happily turn up to a protest about this. Our trees are vital.
That's awful. I really hope the trees can be saved, what a terrible waste.
Is there any way to plant them in different parks?
If the council officer culture has to change then perhaps you flag this to the new Chief Exec Andy Donald. Provide the roots and branches with an express message for urgent review!
I share your frustration how one part of the council doesn't talk to the other! There is no coordination!
Take this into account when voting next week
Mike Hakata and I went to meet the Chair of the Friends of Finsbury Park and two other committee members yesterday. We know mistakes were made. The saplings will be replanted in the park, and those that were lost or damaged are being replaced. As many have said here, our trees are vital.
This replanting will happen in partnership with the Friends as soon as possible. We are committed to working WITH the Friends of Finsbury Park - collaborative working is essential where we share knowledge & ideas, and have a culture of learning and especially of candour.
Central to our plans is that shift and culture change to collaborative working across our services. If things go wrong we need to say so and learn from mistakes.
Cllr, Harringay ward
Labour Candidate, Harringay ward
Thank you very much for answering on this thread. Much appreciated and many here know you are a dedicated councillor.
Sadly this is another in a slew of mistakes and mismanagement/scandals at the council.
Something really needs to be shaken up over there!
The Alexandra House purchase was the final straw for me as a patient long-term Labour voter since I was 18.
Just out of interest Hisky0, how many trees were lost out of the 200? And what did each one cost?
I've been looking at established trees recently and was surprised at just how expensive they are.
They were saplings - so not large at all - but it's still immensely frustrating.
What's the story about the trees being moved for the download wall? The festival is enough of an imposition without destroying our park's ecology any further than it already does.
Are you aware of how hard it is to book a disabled person's ticket for wireless festival? They need you to fill in an application form to be able to access things like disabled loos - I've never been asked to do this before. I've emailed them for support and asked for an easy read version of the document and some support to fill it in, but they won't reply to my emails.
As a disabled person, I feel discluded from the event, and like they have made it more difficult for me to book a ticket than an able-bodied person, if not impossible.
Can you please support me in petitioning wireless to change their system so it is more accessible for disabled people in the borough?
Up to my eyeballs in covid here at the moment but if you draft the email and where to send, am very happy to send it o your behalf. Sorry, normally more proactive, just ground down at the moment!
Far too many mistakes made by Haringey Labour. Time for change.