Climate protesters hold funeral along Parkland Walk to mourn felled trees
- Credit: Nancy Hocking
Protesters dressed in black held a funeral procession along the Parkland Walk on Sunday in memory of felled trees.
Around 40 people walked along the route from Finsbury Park to Muswell Hill before loading branches of recently felled trees into a hearse. These were then left outside Haringey Council’s civic centre in Wood Green.
A eulogy was read by organisers to “express the love of the community and appreciation for the contribution these trees had made to our lives".
Haringey Council said it was committing to protecting the local environment and that it would try to keep larger trees in place in the future “if it is safe to do so”.
In a joint statement, attendees Sue and Carl Heap, who have lived near the Parkland Walk for 40 years, said “every tree was precious”.
“During this pandemic is not the right time to take away the precious trees that have given us a peaceful place to walk in nature in an urban neighbourhood,” they said.
“Our mental health has suffered with losses of all kinds. Seeing trees disappear from the beloved Parkland Walk is yet another cause of distress and helplessness in a population grieving for loss of family, friends, work, routine and other aspects of our life before Covid.”
The procession was held on International Forest Day (March 21), as organisers claimed Haringey Council was taking a “slash and burn” approach to its natural surroundings.
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A Haringey Council spokesperson said: “The council is committed to protecting the local environment and will only cut down trees when there is absolutely no other option.
“With this in mind, and following a meeting with local people, we have agreed to review each part of the tree and vegetation clearance project on a bridge-by-bridge basis so that we can try to keep the more mature, larger trees in place if at all possible and only if our engineers believe it is safe to do so.
“If they feel it is not safe and will prevent the important task of repairing the bridges to make them safe for members of the public then they will need to be removed.”
Responsibility for the Parkland Walk is shared between Haringey and Islington, with the area between Blythwood Road bridge and the Vicarage Path bridge maintained by Islington.