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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Dismay at Priory Park as Haringey Council chop down entire tree hedge at tennis courts

The Friends of Priory Park have expressed their dismay as they discovered this morning that Haringey Council were in the process of chopping down the 40m long double tree hedge which divides the old bowling green from the West Tennis Courts, due for refurbishment.

The sign which was put up yesterday (according to the date) stated that there had been full engagement with Friends of Priory Park but the Friends dispute this.

In a statement sent to the parks forum, the vice-chair of the Friends said, 

"This is a reversal of what we had agreed with them.  The work we agreed was to remove 5m of inner tree line to allow safe access into the courts - completed on 17th January.
They informed us by email on Wednesday afternoon that they intended to remove the whole hedge. Before we had time to respond works had already begun this morning.  They did not inform us the works would start with such indecent haste.  Shame on Haringey Council: This is a scandalous way to treat our park and the Friends Group who represent it."

Hedges are hugely important for bird and insect life and are often used by small mammals like hedgehogs. They clean the air, capture carbon and help with soil integrity. With hedges in severe decline across the country, the removal of any hedges is to be deplored.

Image via Friends of Priory Park 

Tags for Forum Posts: hedgerows, nature notes, priory park

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Council of jokers. Shameless!

How old was that hedge? Outrageous, but what do we expect from this council.

Wy did the council do this and without discussing with Friends of Priory Park.

It now looks bare and ugly. Do they want to antagonise park users?

Bare and ugly I agree, & it is beyond upsetting, there are many measures that could have been considered, this is a barely consultative measure. Priory Park is such an important park & green space. The face of Priory Park has been unnecessarily vandalised and all funded with our already overstretched council funds, completely outrageous.

Do they like the bowling green where it is? There may be land slips if you leave that bank without roots to hold it together. They would frankly deserve it for such short-sighted and destructive work. 

I would urge all bowling clubs reinstated for all to play, and senior citizens to enjoy active engagement, (an active, social hub.) Tennis and bowls need concentration and now players will have no visual cover. There has been no support for senior citizens to play bowls across the borough in the 30 years I’ve lived in Haringey. Downhills, St Anns, Priory Park all gone & Hornsey Bowling Club is under threat from Development, so I urge all to take an interest. Activity is now unsocial behaviour on the former bowling green as there is no active presence.  The parks constabulary are underfunded or cut and community police similarly. Cycle police can provide great support and more versatile coverage and interaction. How many tennis players have been affected by the trees in question ?  Chop the trees down for what tangible reason ? what would validate the cost, repair, ecological, visual and environmental impact, together with the distress to residents and park users, what is the grand plan ? Is it to annex the space for park rental, more space for Christmas tree 🎄 sales ? There is a cart blanch cowboy attitude toward trees at LBH. There is an unhealthy obsession in tree felling it seems, and more essential works overdue. How are they obsessively focused on the wrong things ? What’s the response from council officers ? 

Agree. Many good points here. 

I will remember this next time I am voting in council elections.

We all should be so angry about this, not only for all that Liz says above, but also this was a particularly unique and special place being a closely planted double row of trees so creating a long tunnel in the hedge.

The photo below, from FoPP Twitter, gives a sense of what it was like.

Probably generations of local children have played in the tunnel, my kids included. 

It's such a loss to the park and local area and just shocking to have been destroyed with this brutal vandalism, reneging on what was agreed with FoPP, just for commercial expediency to facilitate new Digi Gates to be installed to restrict access to the tennis courts.

Haringey council are scum. It may be their land but its OUR park. Remember this at the next local and general elections. 

Environmental vandalism, so very wrong and upsetting.

How can the Council claim to be 'green' and making the environment better when they are destroying nature here there and everywhere? The hedges were home to wildlife of all kinds, we need hedges and trees for so many reasons. I'm disgusted, yet again, at such actions but this is happening a lot in our Borough. Residents are ignored yet again and the Friends efforts to save the hedges just pushed to one side.  

What is it about local authorities that they seem to hate trees? Hard on the heels of the appalling Sheffield scandal, we’ve had Plymouth and Torquay engaging in similar vandalism, with no justification. Could it be related to insurance? Are councils being pressured by their insurers in case there’s litigation, or perhaps the premiums are just being increased even more astronomically than everyone else’s domestic and car insurance (the former of which Hugh wrote about before Christmas)? In any case, it gives the lie to any supposed green agenda. At least the leader of Plymouth council resigned after an avenue of trees was felled clandestinely overnight, but there’s fat chance of that in Haringey, of course.

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