CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Did they get a second opinion over axing the cedar?

15 August, 2019

The striking Cedar of Lebanon tree, which was chopped down with a chainsaw

• “THESE tree experts don’t make these decisions because they are out to get trees – they do it because they love trees”, (250-year-old tree at Highgate Cemetery meets chainsaw after being declared dangerous, August 8), concerning the felling of the 250-year-old cedar.

This reminds me of the comment made on Channel 4 News on the “(in-) Glorious Twelfth” by a British Assoc­iation for Shooting and Conservation spokesman that “[grouse] shooting is part of the solution” to biodiversity loss on UK moorland… Enough said.

Was a second opinion sought by Ian Dungavell and his colleagues before the removal of Highgate’s historic cedar – and was the council informed of developments? It seems, from the report, that only days elapsed between the recommendation of removal and the arrival of the chainsaws.

Yes, the cemetery is privately-owned and managed but it would have been courteous, in my view, to inform the borough’s arboriculturists of the tree’s intended felling; which might have helped ensure it wouldn’t be removed as a hedge against possible insurance-claims in the event of a falling branch.

In a litigious society and a climate-crisis world, the public needs to hedge against any and every possible spurious, self-serving claim.

MEG HOWARTH
Ellington Street, N7

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