Forty-odd years ago, walking in local woods with my father every Saturday morning, we’d frequently come across a Beach tree that had fallen down.  Being shallow rooted and on the chalk, they were very vunerable, especially if there was a break due to another tree having already fallen or cut down.

More recently, the Great Storm of 1987 that brought down so many trees in Southern England is well remembered.  I don’t remember the storm itself at all.   I remember cycling home the night before, thinking it calm (‘before the storm’) and waking up next morning with the Today programme going on about this storm – and then seeing all the trees down.

The London Borough of Richmond has – or at least had – a programme to check all the trees lining the borough’s streets.  In the road where I live, pretty much all the old oaks – coming up to 100 years old, I guess, were cut down on the grounds that they were getting dangerous.  This also made the council’s previous policy of building the pavement out into the road around these trees to preserve them rather pointless – and it cut the number of car parking spaces in the road dramatically.  Did they reinstate the parking spaces when the trees were cut down (rhetorical question)?

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You’d think with all this going on, the health of trees would be checked by the council, even if on private land, but this example seen yesterday shows otherwise.  The tree clearly had rotted at the base, and came down, across the riverside footpath and into the river.  Had it fallen another direction it might just have hit Richmond Bridge. 

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I don’t know exactly when it fell, but as the leaves were still fresh I’d hazard in the twenty-four hours before I took the photo at 15:30 (Friday 11th).

An update on the buildings that I reported upon before.

The ‘Duke of Wellington’ has notices all over it suggesting that it will be coverted to a ‘local’ branch of a major supermarket. It is not named, but the colours and text suggests that it is Sainsbury’s. In addition, the lack of anything else suggests, at present that the current building will not be demolished, but heavily modified.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the road, ‘The Warren’ is covered with scaffolding. This is not what happens if it is to be demolished, so it must have a new use – probably housing – already settled.

Meanwhile, ‘Midway House’ has been demolished and the block of flats almost complete. ‘The Green Man’ is demolished but still a steel frame only (not even complete).