Safety Precautions For Walpole Park
Cedars are rotting and becoming dangerous
Ealing Council is fencing off part of Walpole Park as a safety precaution following increasing concerns about four heritage trees.
The iconic trees, which have been in the park for nearly three hundred years, are reaching the end of their lives. The high fences have been installed to protect park users and passers by from any potential debris and the possibility of the trees falling.
Scans, similar to x-rays, were taken of the trees’ internal structures and showed that one of the cedars is almost entirely rotten, while the canopy of the other is in very poor condition. The two Lime trees are also rapidly deteriorating.
The council has submitted a bid to Parks for People to carryout major heritage restoration work to the park. Following recommendations by experts from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the council is carrying out a number of further tests and taking advice from heritage tree specialists before they decide whether to remove them completely.
The trees will be examined to determine when they were planted, which could date them as far back as the early 1700s. Another important piece of work will involve taking samples from all four trees using specialist propagation techniques. If the council is unable to save the trees, the samples could be used to re-grow them. Experts from the Ancient Tree Forum and National Trust have also been invited to carry out tests on the trees to help investigate the genetics and the historical connection of the trees to the planting of Soane Gardens by John Havisham.
Councillor Kamaljit Dhindsa, cabinet member for Customer and Community Service, said: “The trees are an important heritage feature of the park but our priority is to make sure that the people who use the park are kept safe, while we work with the specialists to determine what our options are. If we are instructed to remove the trees, we will ensure the salvaged wood is put to good use in Walpole Park and Pitzhanger Manor House.”
The cordons were installed on Thursday, 7 October and are expected to remain until the first week of November.
For more information regarding the trees contact the Council’s Leisure and Parks service on 020 8825 9699 or log on to www.ealing.gov.uk/parks