Are Protected Trees At Risk On Putney Common?

New Conservators chief 'passionate' about preservation

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

The new Chief Executive of Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators, Simon Lee has given a robust response to claims that protected trees are to be removed as a result of the development of the old Putney Hospital site.

Speaking to local tree warden Mary-Claire Mason Simon Lee said with regard to tree protection orders, “There are about 5 such trees and our view is that wherever possible these trees must be preserved.”

putney common trees

Mr Lee adds a Japanese maple is being retained and protected with new fencing put round it during the works. But after much thought he says the Conservators have applied to have an ailanthus tree removed because it is so invasive and can damage other trees. Once permission to remove is granted it will be replaced with 3 large limes. There is also a lime on land owned by Wandsworth Council which is to be demolished due to the development works and even though it’s not on Common land the Conservators have insisted a replacement lime is planted.

Simon Lee, new Chief Executive of Wimbledon and Putney Commons

Mr Lee says that the Conservators are passionate about all the trees there not just the ones with Tree Preservation Orders.

He says, “We’ve asked that part of an original building is kept to support a huge 50 year old fig tree.”

He claims the belt of woodland behind the site is being regenerated to enhance this buffer zone between the new school and the Common. “It’s become neglected over the years and some trees have fallen over due to decay or squirrel damage. We’re doing some selective thinning to restore the area, planting about 20 large trees including sweet chestnuts and cherries and planting around 400 young trees known as whips.”

For more on this and other issues about the site e.g. lighting see the Conservators latest update.

February 5, 2015