Southwark Council saves Cox’s Walk oaks

18 July 2022

Southwark Council today announced that in addition to the 17,000 trees it has planted over the last two years, it has found a way to save two more, the oaks on Cox’s Walk.

Southwark Council has been working to try and find a way to fix a historic footbridge, without removing the trees; which are less than two meters from the foot of the bridge, on the west side. The trouble is that the oaks are so close to the bridge that works to replace the supporting wall on their side could cause the trees to fall.

The footbridge is part of a public highway and makes Cox’s Walk fully accessible for pedestrians enjoying the Green Chain Walk. The bridge was found to be unsafe and closed in January 2020. The council has been committed to fixing it since.

Southwark Council has found a way to maintain the oak trees, by working with new consultants, Watermans, and drawing more money from council funds.

The new plans to fix the bridge were approved today, 18 July. It is estimated that the works will return the bridge to public use by the summer of 2023.

Cllr Catherine Rose, Cabinet Member for Parks, Streets and Clean Air, said: “After many years and much public consultation, I am happy to have identified a solution that will return the historic bridge to public use and retain the two oak trees on its west bank.

“This work illustrates to our commitment to increasing the tree canopy in Southwark. We’ve planted 17,000 new trees in the last two years. The two oaks at Cox’s Walk are now protected for generations to come. They support and add to the flora and fauna which flourishes across Southwark every day, under our careful stewardship.”

The decision is subject to a five-day call in period.

Page last updated: 18 July 2022

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