The national press has got excited by a silly story circulating that Lambeth Council has cut down two mulberry trees in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, simply because their fruit stains the pavement.
The reality is rather different.
The Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens have been working hard with the Council for several years developing a masterplan for the park, which sorely needed regeneration. The major developments in the Vauxhall area are bringing significant 'Section 106' money to improve parks and open spaces - this is money paid for by developers to compensate for the effects of their new buildings.
The work on the entrance to the Pleasure Gardens began a couple of months ago. The idea is that the entrance should be open, with excellent sight line down avenues of trees, that it should welcome visitors into the park, and that the new columns should draw attention to the fact the park is there.
The mulberry trees at the entrance were planted by the Friends eight years ago. They are not in good health. Unfortunately they are not in a suitable position for the new entrance works and it would be prohibitively expensive to move them. For these reasons the trees have been removed. the new entrance works will include 12 new trees and the Friends are committed to planting six new mulberry trees to replace the two which have been lost.
The Chair of the Friends Eamonn McMahon has responded in more detail here
We hope that people will like the new entrance once it is complete and that they will assist the Friends in their excellent work to plant more trees in the park.
Pictured: the Friends have planted dozens of new trees in the park over the past few year