The Independent London Newspaper
24th May 2017

'Squirrels are stealing soap': Residents in Kentish Town say trees must go

    Neighbours Johnny Murphy and Veronica Yazbeck. ‘Trees have got to go’

    Neighbours Johnny Murphy and Veronica Yazbeck. ‘Trees have got to go’

    Published: 25 July, 2013

    TREES are growing so close to homes in Kentish Town that squirrels are stealing soap and shower gel from bathrooms.

    This is the warning from residents in Castle Road, who say the Town Hall needs to intervene over trees which they say look like they “belong in the Brazilian rainforest”.

    The trees – a mixture of ash, sycamore and chestnut – were planted along the pavement in the 1970s, but are now causing “houses to crack apart”.

    Johnny Murphy, 75, who has lived at a flat in Heybridge block in Castle Road, for more than 40 years said the soap-stealing squirrels “must be the cleanest in Kentish Town”.

    He added: “Nobody knows where the stuff goes or what on earth they want to do with it, but we know it’s them because they’ve been caught red-handed in the past. No one can leave their windows open because you open one window and they spot it. They leap straight in from the branches.”

    Mr Murphy added: “Even if they don’t steal anything, who wants squirrels bouncing around in their bedroom? It’s because they have homes in the trees. These trees are horrendous and they’ve got to go.”

    Mr Murphy, a taxi driver who has headed the estate’s tenants’ and residents’ association for more than a decade, said he had received “numerous complaints” about the trees over the summer.

    “They cut out the natural light in flats, so even in the summer in the middle of the day everyone’s got their lights on,” he said.

    “That costs money, and why shouldn’t we enjoy some natural light? They cause huge problems for the caretakers because the birds nest in them and make mess on the pavement beneath.”

    Veronica Yazbeck, who has lived on the road for more than 30 years, said an ash tree’s roots were damaging the structure of her house, causing “flooding, cracking and swallowing me into the ground”.

    Of her home, she said: “There are cracks in walls in every room. I have had to keep plastering over the cracks for years.  
    “Because the council won’t remove the tree it gets worse and worse. I love trees, but why are they more sacrosanct than people’s homes?”

    Stephanie Dickinson, who has lived in Castle Road for more than 30 years, added: “It’s obvious they’re out of control. I don’t want them gone from Castle Road, but I do want smaller ones or there’ll be more trees than houses left on this road.”

    Councillor Tulip Siddiq, Cabinet member for communities and culture, said: “Camden’s trees are inspected and maintained regularly, and the council only removes dead, dying and decayed trees as a matter of policy.

    "The two Ailanthus and a Raywood Ash trees outside Heybridge and Widford flats, Castle Road, form part of this year’s tree inspection and maintenance programme. The three trees are due to be reduced in size, in line with their previous management.

    "The crown reduction work is to be scheduled during the forthcoming winter of 2013/14.”


    squirrel hygeine

    are the squirrels using the soap to wash the red off their hands?

    People should be grateful for

    People should be grateful for the fact they've got trees and wildlife in the middle of a major city!!

    Yeah or

    How about trimming the trees back and closing your windows. A street full of stumps is a sore sight.

    Post new comment

    By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.