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Tower Hamlets plans to fell trees in middle of bird breeding season

PUBLISHED: 19:00 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:00 05 October 2010

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ONE of the country s leading wildlife charities is warning Tower Hamlets council to check for nesting birds before it starts a tree felling programme. The council plans to cut down six trees and hack back another seven in Wapping Woods, right in the middl

ONE of the country's leading wildlife charities is warning Tower Hamlets council to check for nesting birds before it starts a tree felling programme.

The council plans to cut down six trees and hack back another seven in Wapping Woods, right in the middle of the bird breeding season.

People who use the park are also angry the council plans to fell the trees and say a proper consultation has not been carried out

Daryl Stafford, of nearby Cable Street, said: "It looks to me like some of the trees earmarked for felling are extremely healthy and mature and their removal would be a huge loss to the park.

"I don't think this should be allowed without a proper public consultation and I do not think it is something that people would welcome."

But the council claims the trees must be cut down because they are either dead or diseased.

The RSPB's London spokesman Tim Webb has also warned that the council could be breaking the law if it disturbs nesting birds and said all trees should be thoroughly checked before any felling or pruning takes place.

He said: "I'd seriously urge the council ensures that the condemned trees are thoroughly checked for nests and eggs.

"We are in the thick of the breeding season and the council could be prosecuted if they disturb nesting birds."

Six trees are due to be felled in the small park in John Rennie Walk, including four dead trees and two horse chestnuts with bleeding canker, and another seven with crown defects are due to be cut back.

A council spokesman said: "The local authority only removes trees where no other alternative exists, and we always replace them where possible.

"We are aware of residents' concerns and the works have been temporarily put on hold until further views have been received.

"As we have not received material comments which would support an approach contrary to the one we are recommending we intend to proceed with these works within the next four weeks.

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