There are two key risk to this forest: deforestation and loss of access.

The heart of the forest is to be comprehensively redeveloped and the density will increase. This risks the survival of many of the trees. Elephant and Castle Urban Forest has been campaigning to ensure this risk is minimised. You can read more about the Lend Lease plans at their development website here. Outside the heart of the forest of the Heygate Estate trees are also at risk.

Loss of Access
It is in the tradition of Southwark Council to board up redevelopment sites and let the developer ‘take care’ of what goes on inside. Land is taken out of us but not because people are busy at work redeveloping it. At the Elephant and Castle most boarded up sites have been almost entirely inactive for years (e.g Oakmayne Plaza on the New Kent Road and First Base on Newington Butts). We believe this is unnecessary. Small pockets of the development site are now being offered for interim use, but we want to ensure more becomes available. The limited updates to the public provided by the developer’s consultants and the reticent residential representatives about the proposed Temporary Park remain unconvincing. A large area of concrete rubble where previously garages and a high rise block stood has been provided for a community garden at Grow Elephant which opened in May 2015.

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