Croydon Council chops down more trees than it plants

Croydon Council chopped down 1,703 trees over three years

Croydon Council chopped down 1,703 trees over three years

First published in News
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Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Croydon Council tears down more trees than it plants, new statistics have revealed.

Data obtained through a Freedom of Information request showed the borough - dubbed London's greenest - is one of seven in the capital to have seen a net loss in street trees since 2010.

The council felled 1,703 trees over the last three years and planted 1,535, a shortfall 168. It said most of the trees lost were dead, dying or dangerous.

Only Barnet, Lewisham and Kingston-Upon-Thames lost more.

The figures were obtained by Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones.

She said: "At a time we should be preserving and building up our street tree stocks to help cool and combat the health impacts of heatwaves, a number of boroughs are going backwards, chopping down more trees than they are planting."

Croydon Council felled more trees than it planted in each of the last three years. The biggest net lost was in 2010/11, when it chopped down 653 and planted 500.

A council spokesman said: "Croydon has a deserved reputation for being one of the capital’s greenest boroughs, a reputation of which the council is proud.

"The figures quoted refer only to street trees, of which Croydon has about 33,000, and every year we plant as many as our budget allows. Over the past three years, we planted 500 in both 2010/11 and 2011/12, and 535 in 2012/13.

"Unfortunately, those three years have seen us have to remove more than we’ve been able to plant.

"We do not remove healthy street trees, unless they have been implicated in insurance claims, and that number is no more than 30 per year.

"The overwhelming majority of removed trees are either dead, dying or dangerous, have been knocked over or seriously damaged by vehicles, or blown over by high winds."

Bromley, Lewisham, Southwark and Sutton also saw a net loss.

But the capital as a whole has seen an increase in trees of just less than 9,000 since 2010, with 30,680 planted and 21,705 felled.


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