In January 1995 the problems of maintaining the Wood as a rural retreat in the middle of the urban throng was highlighted once again. London Transport destroyed a copse of trees near Highgate Station which used to screen Highgate Wood from the Archway Road. The copse included a dozen mature trees which it would take years to replace.

London Transport said that they needed the land for more track and, because they were on London Transport land which was not part of Highgate Wood, no outside permission was required. The public would benefit in the end by the extra track. In the meantime the view from the Wood has been blighted for years.

There was immediate cross-party complaint. People in Highgate no longer wear red petticoats and Juggin's Stout is no longer brewed, but the seclusion of the Wood has been breached yet again. From its centre we can now see hurtling cars and poster boards and hear the roar of traffic. The protection of Highgate Wood is a never-ending care.

Highgate Wood, c.1906

The controversies about how to manage the Wood started well before these children were born and continue to this day.



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