Trout 'more important than trees' says environmentalist
A row over the felling of 70 trees along the river Wandle is putting environmentalists at loggerheads.
The Wandle Trust, a charity which is trying to restore a stretch of the river between Carshalton and Hackbridge, has met opposition after announcing it is to start cutting down trees in order to give the river more light.
Environmentalist Jim Duffy, of Birchwood Avenue, Wallington said: "The trust wants to increase the amount of trout in the area, but they shouldn't be sacrificing trees to do so. Trees bring advantages in terms of visual and sound screening, absorbing pollution and provide an interesting skyline."
"Sutton has one of the lowest counts of woodland of all London boroughs, despite our relatively high number of street trees, it doesn't make sense to cut trees down."
Toby Hull from the Wandle Trust disagrees.
He said: "The trees being cut down are mainly sycamore trees, they are invasive and non indigenous, they put everything in the shade.
"This work needs doing for the long term benefit of the river. The brown trout population was decimated and in the 1960's the stretch of river was an open sewer. We are luckily enough to have one of Britain's chalkstreams and we want to restore it."