Beech trees saved – phew! – please see t

Beech trees saved – phew! – please see the article in the Ham & High re the saved trees. A member of the community also received the email below re the decision to save the trees.

Dear local resident and other interested parties.
I am writing to thank you personally for having taken the time to write to us about our proposal to restore the historic vistas to and from the Kenwood Dairy. The scope of our consultation was considerable, and included a public open meeting, two meetings of the Kenwood Landscape Forum, and a Kenwood Dairy Open Day. During the consultation period, we provided information about the project on the Kenwood page of the English Heritage website, and ensured that the Ham and High reported on our proposal which of course resulted in the publication of a number of letters.

We have been extremely impressed with the scale of local residents’ engagement with the proposal and with the intelligent, mature and eloquent way in which the vast majority of you have expressed your views. In total, we have received responses from 189 individuals, as well as formal responses on behalf of their members from the following organisations who are represented on the Kenwood Landscape Forum:

· Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee,
· Friends of Kenwood,
· Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents Association
· Heath and Hampstead Society.
· Heath Hands,
· Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee,
· Highgate Society,
· Kenwood Dairy Restoration Trust,
· London Parks & Gardens Trust,
· Vale of Health Society
The responses we received included considerable support for, and very limited opposition to, the opening up of the view between the dairy and the house. But it became very clear from your responses that removing the copper beeches in the West Meadow was for most people a step too far. I am writing to let you know that as a result of the feedback received during the consultation period, English Heritage has concluded that the project will still go ahead, but in an amended form to ensure that the three copper beeches will be retained.

As we have been keen to explain during the consultation period, this exciting project will bring Kenwood many benefits. We will restore the holly hedge and the farm pond and as a result, create a more extensive wildlife meadow. Visitors will get a better idea of the care and skill with which the Kenwood landscape was originally created and especially of the connection between the house and the dairy.

This decision was last night presented to the Kenwood Landscape Forum at a special meeting which was convened to communicate the outcome of the consultation. I’m pleased to say that the response was overwhelmingly positive – everyone present expressed their appreciation of having being given the opportunity to share in a genuine and meaningful consultation on an important subject, and the conclusion of the group seemed to be that ultimately, the consultation process had allowed us to arrive at the right outcome.

I would like to conclude by saying how, during our consultation, I have been reminded about how much people care for Kenwood, and about how much they are interested in accurately remembering its past, caring for its present and protecting its future. As the guardians of the Iveagh Bequest, English Heritage also cares deeply about the same things, and are totally committed to the ensuring the long term sustainable future of Kenwood and to honouring the terms of the Iveagh Bequest. I would like to reassure you that we will continue to work hard to achieve this, and will, as appropriate, continue to work with local organisations and seek the views of local people such as yourselves to help us to make the right long term decisions for Kenwood.

Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to actively engage in the Kenwood Dairy Views consultation process.

Yours faithfully

Alex Sydney


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