Watford Borough Council’s claims that removing ‘invasive’ trees in Whippendell woods will revitalise the woodland are questionable.

At a time when trees are being lost around the world at an alarming rate, be it the Amazon rainforest or most recently in the Australian bush fires, now is not the time for removal of yet more on the pretext of specious arguments about returning woodland back to what it once was and populating it with ‘native’ trees.

I’m sure Natural England nor the council don’t need me to explain that the world today is a different place from what it was years ago.

Climate change predictions echo what we are already experiencing, which is warmer, wetter winters.

Removing healthy trees and replanting them with ‘native’ sprigs for purely historical reasons may well prove to be futile.

Nature has a way of adapting and it may well be that is happening already, and in response to global warming other ‘non-native’ trees are flourishing.

Mayor Peter Taylor tells us it will bode well for ‘healthier’ woodland to be enjoyed by all (though I doubt many are out with their checklists ticking off the native trees).

But any intervention by the council cutting down trees could achieve quite the opposite effect.

If the trees aren’t healthy, it’s just as likely to do with chronic levels of air pollution in Watford and all the noxious fumes from the M25.

Whippendell Woods and any others would be best left well alone. We have lost enough trees in Watford due to similar schemes such as the clearing in Cassiobury Park along the bank flanking the canal to ostensibly create a view that is in keeping with how it was in historical times.

Perhaps the council would also like to plant a few thousand trees in and around the town to that end: in keeping with how it was in former times.

We can’t afford to lose any more.

Dave Degen

Whippendell Road, Watford