Out and about

The disappearing Kennington Tree…

In August, without warning, a fine old London Plane tree on Kennington Road disappeared. Transport for London (TFL), its owner, had removed it. Local paranoia kicked in – could this be another example of what was happening in Sheffield?
After some good local detective work it was discovered that the tree had succumbed to old age and a big hole had appeared in its base, big enough to judge it a risk to local people.
John Parker from TFL came to explain to local residents and myself what had happened and answer questions. I attach part of what he wrote in a subsequent email about what happens next:
“Assuming we are able to plant a replacement tree it will likely be approximately 4m tall; this is the average height of the 16-18cm girth saplings that we tend to plant. We tend to use trees of this size for two reasons; firstly because larger trees have larger rootballs and therefore require larger holes which we are usually unable to excavate because of underground conditions. And secondly because small trees tend to have better establishment rates than large trees in the long term.
I should also note again that I am unable to 100% promise that we will be able to replant a tree at this location. I am hopeful that we can but I don’t want to raise expectations or make commitments that I can’t deliver. It can be extremely difficult to excavate even a small tree pit beneath a London footway; underground conditions often mean that planting is impossible, and in this location we also have to work around the stump and root plate of the tree we are trying to replace. Please be assured that we will do everything we can to ensure that a replacement is planted, but I want to be clear up front about the potential problems we might encounter.”

More tree news

Vauxhall One are funding the insertion of lights into some of the trees on Spring Gardens now known (again) as Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
It will be interesting to see how they look. Not everyone is convinced and think they are an unnecessary addition to the trees.



It is now around twenty years since Cleaver Square was improved. I visited with local parks officer Theresa Hoare (in background) who was taking gravel samples to order more to keep the square looking good.

This is why I should not be taking selfies:


And remember this development?

This new build on Vauxhall Street seems to have ground to a halt and people wanted to know why. Just to let you know the developers tell me their building company went bust. They hope to start again on site after Christmas.


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