Mulberry tree must survive its big move

Relocation as new homes are built on Highbury estate

Friday, 3rd December 2021 — By Anna Lamche

mulberry tree

The much-loved Mulberry tree

CAMPAIGNERS who have spent two years trying to save a treasured mulberry tree say they are now being “fobbed off”.

Islington Council says it will relocate the tree as part of its work on the Park View estate in Highbury, where new homes are being built.

More than 6,000 signatures were added to a petition calling for it to be protected.

Residents were told there would be a full consultation on the new location of the tree.

Last Tuesday, residents were sent a letter by the council’s “new homes development team” asking them to vote for one of three new locations with a seven-day deadline.

Sarah Brakes, a Park View resident, said: “As far as I’m concerned, that is not a proper consultation.”

The council held a Zoom meeting on Wednesday night to announce the result of the vote. But the decision has been delayed pending further research into the viability of the plots suggested by the council.

Ms Brakes has said that two of the three locations suggested by the council are not appropriate sites for the tree.

“People have said to me they voted for plot B because that was the only suitable option,” she said. “My problem is we’ve not been given a real choice.”

Ms Brakes claims one plot is unsuitable because the tree will not receive enough sunlight, while residents think the other suggested plot is not part of the estate.

“This tree has to survive,” Ms Brakes said. “We don’t want another tree. We’ve got people who ate the fruit when they were five and now they’re 70. We’ve already saved it and yet we’re going through this.”

Councillor Martin Klute, who heads the planning committee, said: “The options for locations were presented as something of a fait accompli, with no explanation of how the locations were chosen, or others discounted.”

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington’s housing chief, said: “Felling trees is always a last resort. That is why we have carefully considered alternative locations for the tree and, so that residents can have their say, we’ve asked for their views on three locations that would give it the best possible chance of survival.”

Related Articles