The Independent London Newspaper
24th October 2014

Letters

Protesters stage vigil for West Hampstead sycamore tree faced with the axe

    Published: 18 February, 2014
    By ALICE HUTTON

    A SYCAMORE tree in front of West Hampstead rail station was saved from the axe by a last-minute protection order following a protest at the weekend.

    On Saturday, a dozen residents, some wearing masks, waved placards outside developer Ballymore’s West Hampstead Square site in protest at the felling of more than 30 trees along the railway line as part of a new housing development. Slogans included “We’re Sycaba££ymore” and the Dr Seuss quote: “I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”

    On Tuesday, Camden Council issued a temporary tree protection order for one mature sycamore. Protester Stephen Jones said that, although the tree might still be lost, it showed the strength of feeling against chopping down mature trees. 

    The campaign has won the support of actors Emma Thompson and Jim Carter. A Save the Trees petition has received more than 800 signatures online.

    Protesters claim an assessment estimates the trees are worth £400,000, but developer Ballymore has responded by saying they would be replacing the 32 trees, five of which are the responsibility of Network Rail, with 70 seedlings. 

     

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