May 24 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
A scheme to revitalise a wooded area and get young children interested in nature has angered one resident – who claims it has actually destroyed the existing Muswell Hill natural habitat.
Eden Primary School has joined forces with Fortismere to transform an area of land behind Ringwood Avenue on the senior school’s property so both could use it as an outdoor nature conservation teaching resource.
But in order to make it safe for the children to use the schools had to cut down some of the dead trees, self-sown saplings and dead branches on living trees to make them healthier.
The removed branches were then kept on site to create a habitat for the local flora and fauna.
But local resident and garden designer Jilayne Rickards, whose home backs onto the land, claims oak trees which were originally part of Coldfall Wood have also been felled.
She said: “You cannot replace these trees – it is just outrageous. They have totally destroyed the habitat.”
But Peter Kessler, chairman of governors at Eden Primary, said the school had improved a very neglected area under licence from both Fortismere and Haringey Council – although he did admit Ian Holt, Haringey project officer, would have preferred it had they been able to leave it as it was.
Mr Kessler said: “We are regenerating a piece of land which had been occupied by rats and rubbish and we are turning into a piece of amenable parkland. We are really looking forward to it becoming a beautiful place.”
Haringey Council said its nature conservation officer is working with the school to advise them how best to retain and enhance the site’s biodiversity.