The Independent London Newspaper

 

Harvest our street trees

• YOUR readers may remember Islington Council’s threat back in November 2007 to fell some rare fruit trees because of the so-called health and safety hazard posed by their “killer pears” (Health and safety fears of ‘killer pears’, November 16, 2007).  After Green councillor Katie Dawson (and this newspaper) stepped in, there were some very red faces at the council, the trees were saved and this year residents enjoyed a bumper harvest (Harvest time for the pear trees that escaped the axe, September 25). They were able to enjoy the food from the trees and to make chutney, jam and cider from the fruit.
Now the council is consulting on a draft tree policy for the borough. The draft suggests that trees with “large pulpy fruits” are “inappropriate species” because they “may cause mess and a slip hazard if not cleared”. Unbelievably, the policy would allow the council to cut down healthy fruit trees because of the very same health and safety fears which led to the threat to the Archway trees.
 All of this is at odds with common sense. It is also in conflict with council policies encouraging people to grow their own food, including on allotments.
Fruit on street trees should be harvested rather than being allowed to go to waste. Indeed, the council should be planting fruit trees (whether it be pears, apples or cherries) for preference in our streets to increase the supply of truly local food.
EMMA DIXON
Islington Green Party

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