Residents staged a protest to protect trees in Merton this week.

It comes after residents discovered that tree pits had been tarmacked on their streets and outside popular destinations such as Wimbledon Station.

On Tuesday ( July 27 ), a demonstration was held outside Morden Civic Centre to protest against the council's contractor, Conway FM.

Residents say that "trees are being tarmacked in like lamp posts" and that the random act is damaging Merton's trees.

Jane, of Tree Warden Group Merton told Wimbledon Times: "We care for the environment, air quality and our planet's future, all of which are helped by trees.

"It shouldn't be left to residents to tell the council where things go wrong - we expect a service, after all it's our money they spend.

"Councillors and officers should make themselves aware of the harm done to trees by their highways contractors."

Wimbledon Times: Residents outside Merton Council Residents outside Merton Council

A couple who live in Raynes Park, said: "We fear this tree, and many others along Edna Road, will not survive such harsh treatment.

"The sealing over of soil, with impermeable tarmac, is also adding to the flood risk: this road, along with many others in low lying Raynes Park, was recently underwater."

Another resident said the council must "get their priorities right" and focus on the climate emergency.

"Trees act as reservoirs that can store thousands of gallons of rain and flood water that otherwise would disrupt our lives and livelihood, and damage residential and commercial property," she said.

"We also understand the amazing role trees and parks have in improving mental health and well-being.

"And trees are naturally beautiful living things in their own right, as habitat, providing shelter and shade etc...

Wimbledon Times: Credit: Susan SpencerCredit: Susan Spencer


"That is why we are now formally calling on Merton Council to get their priorities right ( and) put the environment first as top priority.

"Merton must address the climate emergency, starting with a robust tree strategy, designed to protect our precious, life-giving green canopy."

Tarmacked trees have been spotted on Cottenham Park Road, Prince George's Avenue and Vernon Avenue to name a few.

Wimbledon Times: Residents protest outside council Residents protest outside council

Wimbledon Times contacted Merton Council for comment, in response the council's cabinet member for climate emergency councillor Martin Whelton said: “We are aware of concerns about a specific tree in Cottenham Park Road, which had a temporary binder layer, put around it while construction work was carried out to the pavement.

"The tree pit is now back in place. Sometimes roots can cause a trip hazard to people walking along the pavement which require measures to prevent accidents from happening.

"If people report the exact locations of any trees they are concerned about on our website, we will investigate further."

Wimbledon Times: Wimbledon StationWimbledon Station

He added: “As one of London’s greenest boroughs, we are committed to planting and nurturing trees, which improve air quality for all of us but also as a council which has declared a climate emergency.

"During the last planting season, we invested £100k in new trees and a third of these were planted in new locations.

"We surpassed our annual target for planting 235 trees in streets by 40%, last year, planting a total of 328.

"As a council, we want to grow more trees and have ambitious plans for the next planting season which includes bidding for more than £150k from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund for 185 new trees for our parks.

"People can also request new or replacement trees on our website.”

Conway FM have been contacted for comment.