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To: Southwark Council

Protect Dulwich Upper Wood trees - Farquhar Road

Protect Dulwich Upper Wood trees - Farquhar Road

Repair or replace the retaining wall and re-open the footpath whilst keeping and protecting the mature trees of Dulwich Upper Wood.

Why is this important?

Southwark have proposed to fell up to 34 mature trees, in Dulwich Upper Wood along Farquhar Road, in order to repair the retaining wall next to the footpath. At the same time Southwark are proposing felling more trees in Sydenham Wood in order to repair the Cox's Walk Footbridge. In this climate emergency we should be protecting our habitat and this is another project where Southwark are proposing cutting down mature trees.

There are better engineering solutions that Southwark and their consultants can come up with that provide the retaining structure for Farquhar Road or repair the bridge whilst keeping the trees.

Cutting down the 34 (or so) mature trees in order to repair the retaining wall is not acceptable and an unnecessary destruction of this habitat. We want you to consider stepping the wall out in to the footpath, to provide the retaining structure, whilst protecting the trees and reducing the width of the footpath to 1.5m or locally to 1m if needed. Alternatively reduce the width of the road locally to provide a traffic calming measure on Farquhar Road whilst rebuilding the retaining structure.
Engineers can find a cost effective solution if given the opportunity (and brief) to do so.

Southwark need to have the policy of protecting our local habitat, and give consideration to use all available and viable space, if needed, to provide a solution. Work was aborted to repair the wall for nearly a year and trees roots are being exposed due to the extended and prolonged delays from Southwark.

We are asking Southwark to positively design, cost up and inform the public of solutions that can retain our green habitat. By building out you provide the opportunity to plant further habitat that supports our pollinators and the biodiversity. Local groups such as the TCV who do a fantastic job of managing the woods can help. The local scouts group (1st Crystal Palace) can help plant a new space and other groups like The Friends of Gipsy Hill can also help. If Southwark want the local community to be involved then we can crowdfund to help pay for the solutions that protect our environment.

It should be noted that we have discussed this with our local councillors but we haven't seen any proposals that protect most of the trees now at risk. The tree felling order for Cox's Walk oak trees was halted, after a petition, but again no firm commitment as yet with Southwark to save the trees they have put have risk. We are concerned that Southwark will fell many unnecessary trees both the Sydenham Wood trees then come for the Dulwich Wood trees. We want positively engage with the Southwark Highways team to find the best engineering solution.

Southwark confirmed the trees in Dulwich Upper Wood are sound and that they will (or have) undertaken some work to reduce the mass of them. We now want the retaining wall replaced and the trees protected

Sign this petition and then please sign the Cox's Walk Trees petition

UPDATE 20/12/19: Following the intervention of Helen Hayes and Andy Simmons the council have confirmed that no decisions have been made on the scheme to be taken forward. We met Councillor Andy Simmons on 20/12/19 who has promised to make further representations to the council officers. We have asked for a meeting with the project team to discuss how we can help find the right solution that repairs the wall and keeps the trees.

How it will be delivered

We will deliver the petition to our local councillors and MP to request positive engagement from Southwark.

We have handed over part 1 of the petition with nearly 600 signatures on directly to Councillor Andy Simmons who offered to contact the council officers again to find the right solution.

Farquhar Road, London SE19 1SS

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • Cutting down healthy mature trees is just wrong
  • We should be doing all we can to ensure that the tree are kept and be looking into other possible options for the wall.
  • Typical council arrogance and ignorance,why not remove the wall and replace it with a lightweight fence that is not so liable to damage


2020-09-11 21:35:26 +0100

Good news, Southwark have come up with proposals to move the retaining wall in to the footway, reduce the width of the road and provide a shared cycle & footpath.

The two options proposed keep the trees but requires our support to get a stopping up order from a magistrate to close and rebuild the footway.

Please review the proposals at

Then if you could email [email protected]
with your support then that would be great. I think option A with a shared footway and cycle lane seems appropriate.

These additional options are a positive move by Southwark and we thank Helen Hayes MP and Councillor Andy Simmons for their support.

2020-07-11 15:31:06 +0100

Our friends in @saveoaks, Save the Cox's Walk Oak Trees, campaign are crowdfunding to provide a design and an aboriculturalist report to show that the bridge can be repaired whilst keeping the magnificent oak trees.

Please help them get over the line on the crowdfunding by donating here.

We are hopeful that a scheme to protect the Farquhar Road trees will be published soon. We are still playing the long game on this one but there are positive noises from Southwark Council thanks to the work by Cllr. Andy Simmons and Helen Hayes MP

2019-12-21 10:19:51 +0000

It was confirmed that no decision has been made regarding the trees or the scheme to date. I held a meeting with Councillor Andy Simmons last night who committed to making representations to Council Officers to hopefully set up a meeting so we can discuss what the engineers have been asked to do. That mean we can make sure they can come up with a solution that repairs the retaining wall and keep the trees.
It is important that we keep an eye on this and sign up so we have the opportunity to influence the decisions made. Now the election is over the officers should be available to discuss the solutions for this local habitat. We and many other people are ready to help, but we need positive engagement like I had last night to make sure we get the right engineering solution.
If you could take the time to review and sign the Cox's Walk campaign then we can get the right solution for both schemes

2019-11-26 13:33:02 +0000

500 signatures reached

2019-11-24 16:40:04 +0000

100 signatures reached

2019-11-24 13:24:53 +0000

50 signatures reached

2019-11-24 11:58:13 +0000

25 signatures reached

2019-11-24 11:33:42 +0000

10 signatures reached