Vandal wrecks trees and puts wildlife at risk at Goodmayes allotments

Trees have been cut back harming endangered birds and wildlife that live on the edge of the allotmen

Trees have been cut back harming endangered birds and wildlife that live on the edge of the allotments in Goodmayes - Credit: Archant

Trees have been “smashed down” and the habitats of wildlife jeopardised after a small conservation area in Goodmayes was cut back without permission, leaving those involved “angry” and “frustrated”.

A wooded area which forms part of Goodmayes allotments, Goodmayes Lane, was disturbed by a trespasser last week, who cut back trees close to the boundary of the plot.

Chairman of Seven Kings and Goodmayes Allotment Society, Pádraig Floyd, said: “Someone has trespassed on our land and smashed down some of our well-established trees by about 4ft.

“Instead of just cutting back overhanging branches which may have been there, they have taken the trees right back. We have been developing the space for a long time and were encouraging wildlife into the allotments.

“It is believed we have about 17 different varieties of birds which is extremely uncommon in an urban space like ours.”

The 42-year-old of Elmstead Road, Seven Kings, added: “Members are absolutely incensed about this. We seem to be fighting a battle against ignorance.

“If the people that did this had called us, we could have helped them with access and discussed what was needed to be done.”

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The trees also housed a number of bird boxes made by local Duke of Edinburgh students, and members worry the birds, which include endangered linnets, will not return to nest there.

Susan Cunningham, who has been involved in the allotments for more than eight years, said: “I was so angry when I saw the damage. It is our land.

“I would never climb over a neighbour’s fence and cut trees without asking. It is so frustrating that people would think they could do this.”

A council spokesman said: “We are aware of this and the situation is being investigated. Vision RCL is working with the council, police and liaising with the allotment society.

“The site is listed as an Important Urban Open Space and also forms part of the green corridor network. This could be a criminal matter, if the trees and foliage had been cut down where birds’ nests were active. If the perpetrators are identified appropriate action will be taken.”

The council is appealing for witnesses and ask anyone with information to call 020 8708 3141.