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Southwark Council plan saves 34 trees

2 February 2021

Southwark Council’s bold designs save 34 trees. The new plans give over pavement space to the aged oaks that have broken through a boundary wall, bordering Dulwich Upper Wood.

Trees in the much-loved woodland and local nature reserve have caused brickwork from part of a 50-meter wall, to fall into the thoroughfare and endanger passers-by. To keep people safe, the council blocked up the pavement and redirected pedestrians along a secure section of Farquhar Road.

Initial investigations looked at establishing the retaining wall in its current position, thus securing the embankment, the boundary and the footway. However, tree roots were found extending beneath the wall and this, coupled with the clearance area required for safe reconstruction, meant that 34 trees would have to be felled.

Working with local residents, Southwark Council came up with a new plan to build the wall along the line of the former kerb. The design includes the construction of a new pavement that nudges into the highway. The new scheme was overwhelmingly endorsed by more than 80 percent of those who responded to a public consultation.

Next steps include an application to the Magistrates Court, to secure permission to incorporate the pavement into the woodland. If this is approved, the council will be able to complete a safety audit, meet with contractors and hopefully schedule the works to begin later this year.

Cllr Catherine Rose, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Environment and Roads said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to find a way to maintain these trees. We consulted with local residents and this is a reflection of all that hard work.

“We are committed to caring for and growing the 80,000 trees on council land, as is evidenced by our recently unveiled plans to plant 10,000 new trees across the borough.

“We always do our best to find viable ways to maintain established trees and I’m delighted that our dedicated trees team has come up with this solution.”

Updates about the Dulwich Woods wall repairs are available on the council website and people can join a mailing list for the latest news about the project as well: parks@southwark.gov.uk

Page last updated: 02 February 2021