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The Park Needs Your Help

The Park Needs Your Help

The Park Needs Your Help – The decision to use Greenwich Park for the 2012 equestrian events is not a done deal. There is still time to change LOCOG’s plans and persuade them to find a more suitable venue for the event.

But this won’t happen without you. Your support is crucial.

LOCOG still need to obtain planning permission to use the park.

It is vital that everyone who cares for the welfare of the park makes their voice heard. 

Here are some of the ways that you can make your opinion count:

Write letters and e-mails

Please write to or e-mail the key decision makers and your elected representatives.

E-mails and letters are the quickest and easiest way of ensuring your view is heard.

The people who receive your letter will take it seriously and the more letters and e-mails they receive the more likely they are to take action.

Contact details for the key decision makers and elected representatives are at the bottom of this page.

Display posters

Please print off our posters – see righthand side of this page – and display them in the windows of your home, school, office, shop, place of worship and any other places you can.

This is a really quick and effective way of bringing the campaign to life and showing the world your support.

Had a brilliant idea?

If you’ve got a great idea to raise awareness and support we’d love to hear from you! Please e-mail us.…

Trees in Greenwich Park

Trees in Greenwich Park

Trees in Greenwich Park – 22 October 2011 – Tree 660 – a mature Fraxinus Excelsior “Diversifolia” a cultivar of the European Ash

In 2010, LOCOG said that they would have to “prune” only 72 trees. In 2011, LOCOG said they must “prune” a further 219 trees “for access”.

The Labour councillors on the benighted Planning Board gave them permission to do so; so, instead of “prune back low peripheral limbs by 1.5m on southern aspect” (February 2010 tree schedule, and 1.5m is less than shoulder-height on a man), LOCOG has cut 13 limbs altogether (8 of them large) off this mature Fraxinus Excelsior “Diversifolia”.

At the top of this page, you can see what LOCOG means by “prune”. Click on the image to see a larger version.

This type of tree can live for 250 years but, thanks to LOCOG, this one is unlikely to do so.

All for the same of ONE DAY’s cross-country event.

9 March 2010 – TREES THREATENED – WE NEED YOUR HELP – LOCOG asserted that they wouldn’t cut down any trees and would return the Park to pre-Games condition.

The latter assurance is looking increasingly unlikely in relation to the trees. Although LOCOG omitted to include a tree survey in their planning application to Greenwich Council,

one NOGOE member obtained a full tree schedule under FOI from Royal Parks, and only after that was LOCOG’s tree survey, commissioned during 2009, made available.

Download the Greenwich Park Tree Schedule (300kb, .pdf): you can use it to identify the trees plotted on the maps of the Park (see below).

Subsequently Greenwich Council has supplied maps of the northern (13mb, .pdf) and southern (12mb, .pdf) parts of the Park showing the location of every tree in the Park,

with the cross-country course superimposed. Click on the link to see these maps.

To begin with we looked at just a handful of trees located on or alongside the proposed route of the cross-country course;

we started with just a handful of 8, and already we find that three of them are ancient or veterans.

No way can LOCOG be allowed to “prune” a veteran tree, because it won’t recover.

In fact, no tree should ever be pruned needlessly; the BS3998 Recommendations for Tree Work (Annex E) (draft revised document 2008) states:

“All pruning is a form of damage, which removes foliage and locally disrupts columns of liquid and the network of living cells, so that zones of sapwood become physiologically dysfunctional …

Pruning should be undertaken only with good reason and on the basis of an informed decision taking all its likely consequences into account; other options could include moving the target because pruning inevitably affects the well being of any tree”

The Woodland Trust is currently casting its eye over this data, and we’ll report on its conclusions.

It’s a mammoth task to analyse every tree, so we invite you, the reader, to pick out a tree that concerns you and then tell us the number and identity of the tree. Ask your children to help. Thank you.

NOGOE Comment: There are more than 70 trees that LOCOG has itself identified as subject to pruning, including an unidentified number to have branches removed to the stem,

which is definitely not a good thing for the tree when not done for its own benefit.

Furthermore, if the course were to be built, it would pass over the root protections areas (the red circles – RPA) of a large number of trees,

others would be vulnerable to damage from contractor traffic during construction and deconstruction while the 75,000 spectators on the day of the event could trample over many more.

LOCOG says that where the course must pass over the RPA of a high value tree then appropriate protection of the RPA would be required.

Such protection measures would minimise the impact of the passage of horses during the event whilst also meeting (allegedly) the performance criteria of the Equestrian Event.

How confident can we be that the interest of the tree will be given priority over the condition of the course?

And note that no protection is offered to lower grade trees, notwithstanding that some of them will be the top grade of the future.…

NOGOE

NOGOE

NOGOE – (No to Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events) is a community action group whose members believe Greenwich Park is not a suitable venue for the 2012 Olympic equestrian events.

We are extremely worried about the impact the Olympics will have on the Park and the local community.

We also believe the Park will not provide a satisfactory experience for the competitors and spectators, so we are campaigning for the equestrian events to be moved to a more suitable venue.…

9 March – Greenwich Council gets tough with LOCOG?

9 March – Greenwich Council gets tough with LOCOG? – According to the London Evening Standard Greenwich is one of three London boroughs which have lodged official objections to the Olympic Route Network (the 109-mile road network of “Zil lanes” serving official Olympic vehicles) on the grounds that this will cause severe congestion and disruption to residents,

and will impede access to hospitals, suspend bus routes, and cut residents off from their homes.

Failure to find a solution could trigger a judicial review, which could disrupt the process for gaining planning permission with five months to go to the Games.

Could it be that the Greenwich Council Planning Board have finally started listening to local residents?

Have they finally developed a backbone and stood up to the Olympic juggernaut?

Could their objection result in a last-minute reprieve for Greenwich Park?

This is not clear from the article.

It may simply be referring the fact that the Planning Board only “partially approved” LOCOG’s Transport Plan for Greenwich Park (which could perhaps charitably be described as “work in progress”)

and that they will re-consider (rubber-stamp) it at a later meeting of the Board.

The article includes a comment on LOCOG’s Olympic Route Network by a Park Vista resident: “It’s like they’ve forgotten that people live here”.

The same can be said about the use of Greenwich Park for the equestrian events.

It is as if the Olympic bid was dreamt up using a tourist map of London, and perhaps a booklet from The Royal Parks,

and nobody thought of how this pipe dream would disrupt the life of the real city.

The 2012 Games will be the biggest disruption to the lives of ordinary Londoners since the Blitz.…

13 March – LOCOG’s 2012 tree-pruning campaign

13 March – LOCOG’s 2012 tree-pruning campaign – As reported in our photo diary, dozens of trees (along the Avenue, at the northern end of Blackheath Avenue, and the northern end of Lovers’ Walk) have just been pruned (see, for example, this entry and this one).

A mature horse-chesnut was felled in order to reposition Blackheath Gate so that LOCOG’s construction vechicles can gain access to the Park next month (see this entry).

And two trees have been felled in mysterious circumstances (see this entry and this one).

Remember that, by the time LOCOG’s preparations are complete, over 600 trees will have been pruned; that is, over 20% of the trees in the Park.

And this is being done simply in order to make headroom for horses and riders, and to make space for spectator concessions, WCs, catering stores, buggy parks, etc.

We have also noticed that trees which are not scheduled to be pruned are being pruned (see, for example, this entry). If a member of the public damaged one of the Park’s trees in this way, they would be prosecuted.…

13 March – Surface-to-air missiles on Blackheath?

13 March – Surface-to-air missiles on Blackheath? – According to an article in The Guardian, surface-to-air missiles could be positioned on Blackheath during the Olympics.

Labour MP Heidi Alexander, whose Lewisham East constituency includes Blackheath, is quoted as saying:

I can’t say I like the idea of missiles on Blackheath but if the military and security experts think that is necessary to have a last line of defence to deal with all eventualities,

these defence systems will have to go somewhere, …

We are told that no decision has yet been taken but given the testing and evaluation work that is under way,

I think local people have a right to know what is being considered and at least get the answers to basic questions.

An air-security testing exercise was conducted in Oxleas Wood this March (5th-9th), and one of our supporters has sent us a copy of the MoD leaflet which was issued to the public.…

19 March – No hosepipe ban for the equestrian events

19 March – No hosepipe ban for the equestrian events – It was reported in The Telegraph today that Greenwich Park has been exempted from the hosepipe ban that comes into force on April 5 after concerns were raised that drought conditions could create dangerously ‘fast going’ at the Olympic eventing track.

The lawns in the Park are not normally watered, but the four-mile cross-country track has been specially aerated, seeded and watered almost daily for the past two years.

The Telegraph also reports that many hundreds of thousands of gallons may also be required to prepare the artificial dressage and show jumping surfaces in the arena.…

30 March – Cable camera given planning permission

30 March – Cable camera given planning permission – Greenwich Council has given planning permission for the mobile cable camera, which will be aligned along the Grand Axis of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

It will be suspended between an 86 metre tower based in Millwall Park (across the Thames on the Isle of Dogs) and a 41 metre tower on Blackheath Avenue just south of the statue of General Wolfe.

The idea is illustrated by this photo set. Details of the application can be found here.

A smaller cable camera will run roughly east-west across the southern end of the Park, and will be suspended between two mobile cranes.…

7 July 2011 – Three Fantastic Days of the NOGOE Protest at the Test Event

7 July 2011 – Three Fantastic Days of the NOGOE Protest at the Test Event – We are ecstatic about the popular support for and the media attention to our protests held on all three days of the Test Event.

Al Jazeera, ESPN Brasilia, Fox Sports Australia, Canadian tv, French tv, NZ tv all took the opportunity to include film footage of this example of the fine English tradition of street protests in their coverage of the Test Events in Greenwich.

Woolwich Hospital Radio, and some UK national and local media channels also filmed our placards and interviewed Sev and some of our supporters.

For a small community group, with no budget, the coverage that NOGOE received was remarkable.

The third day ended on an unexpected “high” for NOGOE when the equestrian Piggy French herself came down at 5.30pm to the protest line, fresh from being presented with the First Prize, to collect the placard that said “Go, Piggy, go”. We wished her well – at Windsor –

and, when we refused her offer to pay for the placard, she signed and gave us her Team GB cap and posed for photographs

So thank you to everyone to came to the protest, even if you could manage only a few minutes on your way to work; everyone who made placards or came up with brilliant ideas for placards,

who stored our placards between protest sessions, handed out leaflets, or who took photographs for the NOGOE Flickr page.

Thank you, too, to the Olympics division of the Met for their adroit, light-touch policing, enabling us to exercise our right to freedom of expression.…

3 August 2011 – Another LOCOG Myth About to Explode

3 August 2011 – Another LOCOG Myth About to Explode – Could This Be the “Iconic Greenwich Park View” that LOCOG’s sponsors are expecting to see – and are paying for?

Click on image to see larger version – this computer simulation of the view from the Wolfe statue was created by Greenwich Landscape Artists to reveal to Olympic sponsors what they are actually paying for,

and so far no one has challenged it. This image is as accurate as it can be since it was done putting together information from LOCOG’s own plans and elevations.

From these it is possible to work out the line of sight from the James Wolfe Statue over the arena to the Queens House and Old Royal Naval College.

An inclinometer was used to check LOCOG’s drawings.

The actual arena may turn out to be even larger, because they have to fit in 23,000 people into the structure they have drawn.

(Charlton Athletic’s football stadium down the road accommodates 27,000).…

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