As chairman of the Trees Committee, I was very interested in David Nicholson-Lord's thought provoking article in the summer Newsletter. I admire his vigour in defending threatened trees. We have to be ever vigilant and take every opportunity to plant more trees and hedges. However, I think he is unduly gloomy about the general state of Dulwich's trees. A lot are continually being planted. Southwark regularly fills most of the empty tree pits or replaces failing trees in the streets and has planted a variety of interesting ones such as liquid ambers, gingkoes and tulip trees.

Although under the lottery bid 66 trees have been felled in the park, they were mostly dead, dying or small self sown specimens and this number was less than originally planned owing to pressure from the Dulwich Park Friends. As against this, 70 new trees are to be planted, a native hedgerow around the perimeter is planned and the grass will be allowed to grow.

Although bound to remove dead trees where they present a danger, the Estate plants an average of 40 trees a year and resists residents' requests to fell trees, where possible. Finally the Dulwich Society has also made a small contribution; 12 trees are flourishing in Long Meadow alongside Gipsy Hill and there is also a native hedge around the perimeter, 10 trees have been planted in Belair Park and 4 memorial trees in the village. It does therefore seem to me that the number of trees in Dulwich is actually increasing in spite of the occasional disaster.

Stella Benwell

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