Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

Share this story


#ARBatwork #ArbMatters #PledgeLessPlastic & 12 Faces of Arb 1987 storm 2018 3ATC 3ATC UK Open 50th annual AA AA award AA Awards Aboricultural Association Accident accreditation advice AFL aftercare AGM Agrilus Biguttatus aid air quality Alert Alex Kirkley All Party Parliamentary Group on Horticulture amenity Amenity Conference Ancient Tree Forum Annual Awards app APPGHG apprentice apprenticeship Apprenticeships Approved Approved Contractors ARB ARB Approved Contractor ARB Approved Contractors ARB at work ARB Magazine ARB Show arb training ArbAC ArbCamp Arboricultural Association Arboriculture arborists Arbsafe Ash ash dieback Asian Hornet Assessments atf Australia Autumn Review award Awards Barcham Trees Bark Beetle Bartlett Bartlett Tree Experts bats beetle beyond ism Bill Matthews biochar biodiversity biosecurity branch Branches brand Brexit bs5837 bursary business Call for papers Campout Canker stain of plane carbon Cavanagh CCS Cellular Confinement Systems CEnv Ceratocystis Ceratocystis platani chainsaw chalara charity Charles charter Charter for Trees chelsea Chelsea Flower Show Claus Mattheck climate climate change climber climbing Colleges committees competition competiton conference Confor conifers conservation Consultant consultation Contractor Coroner Council Countryside Stewardship Course for beginners cross industry news Crown & Canopy Cryphonectria parasitica Cumbria DART Date for your diary deadwood death defra Design Devon disease document donate dothistroma draft EAC East Anglia ecology Economic Report economy Ecotricity education Electricity England English Elm environment environmental EPF equipment Europe European Arboricultural Council European Wood Pastures exeter Exhibitors Fatal Fatality felling Fellow Fera Field Trip Fine flood flooding Forest Research forestry Forestry Commission forests FSC Fund4Trees funding fundraiser fungal fungi Futurebuild gardening GDPR Geocells Gold Medal Gov.uk government grant grants Green Brexit Green Infrastructure Green Infratructure guidance Guidance Note 2 guides Hazard Tree Health Helliwell Help Henry Kuppen History Honey Brothers Horse Chestnut horticulture horticulturists HortWeek housing HRH HRH Prince Charles HS2 HSE ICF identification industry industry skills Infographic InfraGreen Inspiration Insurance Intermediate Tree Inspection International Urban Forestry Congress Investigating Tree Archaeology Conference Ips typographus Irma irrigation ISA iso i-Tree IUFC Job job opportunity judgement JustGiving Karabiner Kew land-based Landscape Institute Landscape Show landscaping Lantra law Leaf Minor Lectures legal legislation Liability licence London longevity LTOA Magazine maple Mayor of London MBE Melbourne Member Benefit Membership mentor Midlands moth' NASA National Geographic National Tree Safety Group National Tree Week NATO New Year’s Honours News nominations Northern Northumberland notification NTIS NTOA NTOC NTSG oak 'oak Oak Processionary Moth Oak-boring Beetle obituary Observatree occupation opm Padua parks parliament Perennial Pests and Diseases petition photo Phytophthora planning Planning Law planting Plumpton College policy poll Power Preston Twins Prince Charles Prince of Wales processionary prosecution Protect and Survive protected tree protection Qualifications Quotatis ramorum RC Reg Harris Registered Registered Consultant Registered Consultants Rememberance Day renewal Report Rescue research Research grant Resilience response results retrenchment review RFS rhs RHS Chelsea Flower Show Ride for Research Ride4Research rigging Rodney Helliwell rogue tree surgeons RSFS Safety Safety Bulletin Saftey Scotland Scotland Branch Scottish Branch SDG Accord security seminars Share Sheffield Show Sierra Leone Site Guidance skills SocEnv soil soils South East South West SRWP staff statement Stationary Rope statutory STIHL strategy student Student Conference survey Sustainable Soils Alliance Sweet Chestnut sweet chestnut blight T Levels Tatarian maple TDAG technical guide Technical Guides Technical Officers Ted Green tender Thames & Chiltern The Arboricultural Association The Woodland Trust Thinking Arbs Thinking Arbs Day Timbersports Tools top-handled chainsaws,Elcoat, TPBE4 TPO Trading Standards trailblazer training transport Tree Tree Champion Tree Council Tree Fayre Tree Health Tree Inspection tree loss tree management Tree of the year Tree Officer Tree officers Tree Protection tree register tree species Tree Surgeon Tree Surgeons Tree Week Treeconomics tree-felling TreeRadar trees trees' Trees, People and the Built Environment trust' trustee Trustees TrustMark UAG Uitlity UK favourite ukas UKWAS urban urban forest Urban Forestry Urban Tree Cover urban trees Utility Arboriculture Group vacancy VETcert veteran trees video Videos volunteer VTA WAC Wales watering solutions webinars website Western Westonbirt Wharton Witley Women Women in Arb women in arboriculture woodland woodland trust woods World Environment Day Xylella young young arborists Young People’s Breakfast Event zoo

Oaks Park, 1987 and 2017

Author:  Nick Beardmore
Last Updated:  20/12/2017
Oaks Park, Carshalton (London Borough of Sutton), community tree planting, 29 November 1987 and Oaks Park November 2017

Oaks Park, Carshalton – the original site of the The Oaks horse race – sits on a very shallow soil over chalk with the southern part being slightly elevated on a low ridge and quite exposed to winds from the south-west.

In 1987 it was said that it had a tree population of around 22,000 and that some 15,000 fell or were so badly damaged in the storm that it was felt they had to be removed. These numbers are probably exaggerated but I would say that well in excess of 500 mature trees were lost.

To the Left: Oaks Park, 2008. These trees were planted in November 1987. To the Right: The view in November 2017.

With hindsight some trees perhaps could have been retained, in some form or other, but in common with many areas, there was a pressure to clear up as quickly as possible. The B278 Woodmansterne Road that runs along the east boundary of the park was blocked for more than two weeks. At one point during the night of the storm a fire engine was trapped for two hours by trees falling either side of it.

Earlier in 1987, a survey of roadside trees within the park was carried out by Vivien Hodge (tree consultant and former London Borough of Sutton Tree Officer). The survey showed that many of the trees were latemature specimens with significant defects that would necessitate the removal of many of their number. We were considering how to present this problem to the public when nature took over and largely resolved it.

As part of the work to present the planned removal of the defective trees to the public we also made outline plans for a public tree planting day to educate and involve the community in the establishment of replacement trees. These plans were brought forward (rather hastily) and a very successful event was held on 29 November 1987.

Oaks Park, 1987, after the community planting. Before the storm the fields in the background were not visible. Above: The view from a similar position in November 2017.
Woodcote Avenue, Wallington – then and now. The 1987 image was used on the front of the autumn issue of the ARB Magazine. Oaklands Way, Wallington. The construction of this estate involved the formation of an access too close to this pine despite advice from the London Borough of Sutton tree section.

This story is from the Winter 2017 issue 179 of the ARB Magazine.

To read the FULL article with accompanying images, become a member now.