Press release: Green Party fights to save mature city tree from destruction

4 August 2021

Cambridge City Councillor Hannah Copley calls for the preservation of a well loved mature Robina tree on City Road, Cambridge which is threatened with destruction by Parkside Federation. 

Parkside Federation, which owns and runs the international sixth form college at the site on City Road, has applied for the iconic tree (which has protection via a tree protection order), to be removed and replaced, citing damage to the pavement.

Cllr Copley said “The future of Cambridge City looks bleak in the context of the extreme heat facing us with runaway climate change. We must not forget that in July 2019 the UK's highest-ever temperature was officially recorded in Cambridge, reaching  38.7C (101.7F). Plentiful mature trees within our streets will be essential to provide shade and make our streets livable and thriving places for people and nature. This Robina tree is hugely valued by local residents and visitors to this area and is a key feature of the local conservation area. In my formal objection I have asked for a solution to the pavement damage to be identified in order to retain access for all that does not require the loss of this immensely valuable tree on a hugely beautiful street in Cambridge.”

Cambridge Green Party does not believe that mature trees can have their value calculated, nor that they can be “replaced” by new saplings which would take decades to provide the benefits of a mature tree. Residents have been raising the alarm throughout the city of the high reported death rate of newly planted trees. If this tree is destroyed, Cambridge Green Party believes this will be in contradiction to the council’s declared climate emergency (Feb 2019) and biodiversity emergency (May 2019). It will also negatively impact the city council's commitment to increase the tree canopy cover (December 2020), and their commitment to uphold the principles of the 2017 National Tree Charter for Trees, Woods and People (December 2020).

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