The East London Garden Society

Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree

Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree

The oldest tree in London, The Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree, is soon to be no more. Tower Hamlets Council plan to allow a private development on the site of the Old Bethnal Green Chest Hospital and have decided that this 400+ year‐old tree has to go since nothing must impede the development.

The Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree is classified as a veteran tree in a conservation area. Currently the law states that a veteran tree cannot be disturbed except in wholly exceptional circumstances.

Tower Hamlets have said they will move the veteran tree elsewhere, although its new site is not yet known. However, there is no guarantee that such an old tree would survive and even the council will not be able to offer one.

In addition, another one‐hundred mature trees are to be felled to allow this development and the Council have not yet provided any details on their replacement. Losing a tree is a loss but losing the oldest tree in London is a loss of great magnitude and losing a copse or wood in urban London is a catastrophe. Let us have your Comment.

An article by The Gentle Author on the subject.

Please sign the Petition to save this tree and help us Raise Funds to fight its removal.

Comment by The East London Garden Society

In 1971 Dr Seuss published his children’s book The Lorax which is commonly recognised as a fable concerning the danger that corporate greed poses to nature.

This relates to where we are now. The developers Crest Nicholson are ignoring their sustainability responsibilities having decided to fell 100 mature trees and remove The Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree, which is a veteran tree, thus creating a tragedy for the grade II listed building.

Tower Hamlets has declared a climate emergency, yet no forensic ecological survey has been carried out in this conservation area. These plans will diminish the carbon retention and oxygen levels and the loss of 100 trees, well over 100 years of age, will create its own ecological impact. Is there a report on how the balance with nature will be maintained? If not why has one not been produced?

Why did Tower Hamlets Council disregard national laws regarding the status of veteran trees by saying dig it up? It is all well and good having a climate emergency, but if it is in word only, who will speak for the trees?

See what the people say

Let us have your Comment.

Reader Comments

16/8/2019 ‐ This is so sad. I’m reading The Lorax to my two year old every night at the moment and I can’t believe these changes to the fabric of our rich heritage are so monstrously pursued. Where’s the taking stop?

16/8/2019 ‐ Knowing how much the role trees play in benefitting air quality and mental health, I find it inexcusable that Hammerson want to cut these trees down.

27/9/2019 ‐ Felling or changing place by digging it up is wrong. The tree should be treated as grade listed building. I happily sign this petition to save our oldest tree.