Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Conference Report - a quick snapshot

Well, what can we say? We're bowled over!!

The Brockley Society's first ever conference "Trees in the City" held at LeSoCo last Saturday was a huge success, with a total audience over the day of 110 (and never less than about 50!). 

Tom Armour, our opening speaker, Chartered landscape architect,
founder and head of Landscape Architecture Business, Arup, London

Many had travelled a considerable distance to join us, and we were delighted with the range and expertise of our speakers who kept us engaged throughout the day (and one, via video link, all the way from Lancaster!).

Perhaps among the most rewarding comment after the event was this one, which illustrates rather wonderfully what can be done by raising awareness of the importance of our green environment, and our trees in particular: 

It took my husband and I longer to walk home after this inspiring conference because we noticed ALL the trees - our relationship with them has changed us forever!  Thank you. 

There is a lot to glean from such an event, and the BrocSoc Tree Committee are meeting this coming weekend to debrief and start following up on the many conversations and connections that were made during the day. 

In the meantime, a huge Thank You to those of you who came along and, and our gratitude to our presenters and panellists who did such a splendid job on the day. 

We will be posting a fuller account of the day in due course. 

The Brockley Society Tree Committee

Friday, 4 April 2014

Matters Sahari

The recent arrival of Saharan dust has again highlighted the subject of air pollution and is a reminder why trees are essential for the urban environment. 

See image here

After 15 years of warnings, the EU has now launched legal proceedings against the UK for failing to reduce "excessive" levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution - mostly diesel particulates from traffic fumes. The government has pushed back its own targets to cut emissions and is showing little will to prioritise the issue.

We know that trees reduce pollution levels by as much as 30% 

... and have reported here on innovative and inexpensive ways in which tree canopies help to capture and remove these dangerous pollutants from our air, and the scientist who has recently published on the subject will be joining us via Skype on Saturday 26th April to talk about her work (see April 2014 Conference tab above). 

Let's keep planting and replacing trees so that we can all breathe more easily.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

London Plane 1 Developers 0

Last week, the London Evening Standard ran a rather reassuring story about the thwarted ambitions of a property developer who was attempting to build a three storey subterranean basement complex under his Holland Park home. The development was thrown out by Kensington & Chelsea Planning because the work would have involved cutting through the roots of two very mature 60 ft London Plane trees. 

Jonathan Bore, Executive Director of Planning in K&C said: "The impact of development on the health, stability, appearance and longevity of high quality trees on and near the site would be such that the character and appearance of the property and the Holland Park Conservation Area would be harmfully altered". 

Hilly Fields Crescent Plane Tree avenue - February 2014

The ultimate irony is that the applicant, Edmund Lazarus, was appointed by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, as Chairman of the London Green Fund, a £100 million project to invest in schemes to cut carbon emissions. 

Full story here.

Green Park -  famous for its avenues of
mature London Plane (Platanus × acerifolia)
October 2013