Banging On About Greenwich Park Again

…and I will continue to do so. No apologies.

Richard has sent me this link to an article in today’s Times. In it Jane Owen describes the proposals as cultural vandalism, and she has a point. What worries me is that when LOCOG were asked if trees were to be removed, Owen tells us they said it’s “too early to tell.”

That just isn’t good enough. There should be NO QUESTION of whether these trees should be removed or not. The issue shouldn’t be raised in the first place. As far as the trees are concerned there is no room for manoeuvre. There is nothing to be discussed. Those trees are more important than any sporting event.

If they can squeeze in the equestrian events with the absolute condition of NO trees or potential archaeological sites to be damaged in any way, they will get my grudging acceptance. But this has to be got right first time, and, frankly, I don’t trust LOCOG to do that.

Those chestnuts cannot be replaced. If there is even an outside chance that these royal antiques (for that’s what they are – if they were a piece of priceless Stuart furniture or a fabulous wooden building with such strong royal connections this wouldn’t even have got to discussion-stage – and, just think – these are LIVING pieces of history) will suffer any damage then it’s a closed book as far as I’m concerned.

There’s one small point upon which I take (with a heavy heart) issue with Jane Owen. She suggests that a more realistic Olympic heritage than trying to get people into horsey-sport would be allotment gardening. Yes, in my dreams too. But given the 100-strong waiting list for Prior Street allotments and the eleven years thumb-twiddling I was quoted for the Humber Road allotments, I’m not convinced it would be any more attainable in our modern city than horseboxes-for-all.

But don’t get me on the loss of Greenwich allotments. I’d be typing all day…


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