New life for old tree

Jean Kerrigan reports on how an old horse chestnut tree has been given a new lease of life

You may remember how sad park lovers were when Lambeth’s tree surgeons decided that the great horse chestnut tree in Windmill Gardens that had provided shade to the children’s play area for many years was rotten and unsafe so had to be felled.

Since then the massive tree trunk has been lying by the wall. But now it has a new lease of life!

Thanks to Lambeth and their parks contractor Veolia, the trunk is being transformed into a wonderful seat. Today it was being skilfully carved by Veolia workers to make three seats where children and parents can rest and watch activity on swings, climbing frames and the whirling roundabout.

By tomorrow the new seats should be ready for use. As well as being a resting place for weary players and their carers, the trunk will be an interesting and challenging natural object to climb, and will also provide a home to insects and other wildlife that like to hibernate and burrow into trees and bark.

Once the weather gets a bit warmer you will be able to sit on the new seats and admire the flowering bulbs planted by the Friends of Windmill Gardens last autumn.

If you have ideas for other improvements to Windmill Gardens, contact the FoWG parks group at

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