A Liberal Democrat councillor has written to Haringey Council, raising major concerns with flood mitigation works in Queens Wood, and asking for an Environmental Impact Assessment to be urgently carried out. Major issues had previously been raised by residents, the Friends of Queens Wood, the Rivers Forum, and a former Haringey Council Conservation Officer.
The current proposals would dig two-metre-wide channels along existing stream beds, install around twenty leaky dams, and create a number of berms. There is particular disquiet around the leaky dams, which could allow polluted water, from the new Muswell Hill road surface water sewer, to spread widely throughout the wood. This would cause changes in the chemical makeup of the soil, which would result in an increased number of invasive plants (such as grasses and stinging nettles) most likely at the expense of the much rarer species commonly associated with ancient woodland.
Cllr Pippa Connor (LD – Muswell Hill) said:
“Following the intervention of the Friends of Queens Wood, I am asking the council to stop this project. As a local councillor I respect their expert opinion, and their clear ask that this flood mitigation scheme be rejected.
“Instead, an Ecological Impact Assessment, as part of a wider Environmental Impact Assessment, must be undertaken. After that, the council should co-produce a strategy alongside residents and Friends of Queens Wood to ensure that the ancient woodlands are recognised and treated as a protected site.
“Any future flood mitigation scheme should be examined in light of this strategy to protect our woodland and involve Friends of Queens Wood throughout as key partners.”
- Queens Wood was declared a statutory Local Nature Reserve in 1990, under the provisions of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949
- Queens Wood was designated as a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation (M116) in 2002 by the Mayor of London