Anger 200 trees ‘ripped out’ of Finsbury Park on Earth Day

The southern Finsbury Park gates at Seven Sisters Road 

The southern Finsbury Park gates at Seven Sisters Road - Credit: Google

A group has called out Haringey Council for ‘relocating’ 200 trees at Finsbury Park on Earth Day. 

Friends of Finsbury Park said they planted the trees in agreement with park staff around the Richard Hope Play Space. 

Haringey Council has not said why the trees have been moved on what it calls an ‘interim basis’. The Friends have said the authority’s reasoning was that it was a “suggestion” that it infringes on event space for Wireless Festival.

“Late on Thursday [April 22] night, we finally received a formal reply saying a mistake has been made and they shouldn't be planted there,” a Friends statement said. 

“We met park staff on Friday and stepped through concerns [they were] all manageable and not requiring 200 trees to be ripped out.

“They proposed moving the trees inside the play areas, but they are about to lay a 1.2m wide disabled access track there. So where exactly would you put the trees?

“Beyond the space for the path, the southern side is a bit dry. We did not 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 asked that no actions were taken.

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“But it was too late. At 4pm on Friday, April 22 [Earth Day]—within hours of meeting—all the trees were ripped out of the ground. They were already sprouting and now, will likely die.

“It's hard to engage the council… they talk of planting many more trees when staff are ripping them out.” 

A Haringey spokesperson said: “Following consultation and correspondence with the Friends of Finsbury Park, the council took the decision to relocate these 200 trees to our nursery in the park on an interim basis and we have offered the Friends a meeting to discuss a suitable, new location for them.

Wherever they are planted next will be in line with our conservation action plan.
“We look forward to replanting these trees in due course and remain grateful to the conservation volunteers and other community stakeholders for all their hard work, help and support on this project.

“We would like to reassure our residents here in Haringey and those further afield that we would never just destroy our trees and this has nothing to do with the major events in the park this summer.”