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In the ancient hedgerows of the site sit majestic oaks, many threatened with the chain saw. Some as old as 200 years with a diameter of nearly 4 metres.
Some are threatened with the chain saw – others will be marooned on desolate islands surrounded by concrete and tarmac, curb stones and flood lighting.
Oak of this age are just reaching a very valuable state regarding wildlife habitat and national importance as “veteran” trees and so should be protected.
We quote the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework):
Clause 118 states:
local planning authorities should aim to conserve and enhance biodiversity by applying the following principals that:
– planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.
The photos are just a sample of the many trees found on-site.
With girth measurements taken we calculated the age of the larger tree using this formula, sourced from the Forestry Commission.
Tree growth/ring growth is fairly consistent, so you can work back to get the approximate age of the other trees on the site once you have the girth/diameter measurements.
All trees now subject to Tree Preservation order as of 01/02/2017: 17/TPO/003
Tree Age formula from Forestry Commission below:
Tree 6: 3700mm – a living breathing habitat for wildlife.
NW LONDON RSPB GROUP have commented on this application:
“We are aware of records of Whitethroat and Redstart for the area and wintering Scandinavian Thrushes, Fieldfares & Redwings and even Waxwings in eruption years feed on the hedgerow berries.”
Tree 9: 2700mm. The School has expanded several times, building right up to its boundary at the rear and bottom of the existing site, despite being on Green Belt Land – in view of the 6 acres they wish to acquire around the periphery of the 21 acre site, who is to say that in future years that will not be fenced off and built on, the school will own the land then, so who is to stop them.