Placeholder Picture

Cavell Street Gardens

Cavell Street Gardens

When considering Cavell Street Gardens, we also have to look at Ford Square which was changed by Mayor Biggs when he first came to office.

The East London Garden Society was partially involved with the issue of Ford Square which was to be Astro turfed to provide facilities for children to play. At the time, the newly elected Mayor Biggs promised that this change would not go forward.

Cavell Street Gardens are approximately 100 feet long and about 20 feet wide and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets announced that ‘improvements’ were to be made. 

To make these so-called improvements, four mature trees have to be felled and the area is to be Astro turfed to provide a kickabout facility for children from the private school next door.

The area in question could at a most hold five children without overcrowding. The private school next door is believed to have 100 pupils, so even the total area of the gardens would not suffice. Yet, Ford Square nearby, which is about four times larger than Cavell Street Gardens, has an adequate playground for children to play in, although currently this is in a state of neglect.

It is idiotic to have four mature trees felled for this purpose, when the plans would be unable to accommodate what is envisaged, let alone the loss to the environment, which Mayor Biggs seems to totally ignore when making such decision.

If this goes ahead, the local residents will lose their trees and the local private school would not have the facilities they require. Oxygen levels would decrease and the beauty of these trees would be lost. 

According to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets the loss of four tree would not affect the immediate area since eight semi-mature trees would be planted. But there is no more space in Cavell Street to plant additional trees.

Trees are now very important in an urban environment and their potential loss has to be viewed with much more sensitivity, which is why we must all fight for them.

The Council's action has caused outrage from local residents.

The trees are saved!

Mayor John Biggs has changed his mind and the trees under threat have now been saved. Our thanks go to him and to Geoffrey Juden at the East London Garden Society for his drive and determination plus all the local residents who kept up a fight we thought we’d lost. December 2021

Letter from Mayor John Biggs:

It was good to meet you in August to discuss the trees on Cavell Street. I'm pleased that following a review we will not be removing these trees.

We live in a densely populated borough and we have to get the balance right between providing infrastructure for residents and protecting our environment - but we listened to your views and I'm pleased with this positive outcome.

As a council we are also committed to delivering 1000 new street trees with over 750 planted already. You can find out more information on how we are delivering on tackling the Climate Emergency here: Climate emergency (

Mayor John Biggs

Reader Comments

Many congratulations on this excellent piece of campaigning. More power to your elbow. (TP)