News Walthamstow

Tributes paid to fallen Lloyd Park tree

Grieving locals are looking to preserve as much of the eucalyptus tree as possible following its fatal wounding by Storm Henk on 2nd January

By Marco Marcelline

The tree was described as a “focal point” in Lloyd Park, Credit: Brigit Collins

Walthamstow residents grieving a much-loved eucalyptus tree in Lloyd Park that fell at the start of the month are working with the
council to make sure its memory stays alive.

The tree, which stood proudly over the park’s ornamental gardens, was fatally wounded by Storm Henk on 2nd January. Tree surgeons have since removed branches that had blocked paths, and all that remains of it is a large chunk of its trunk.

Makeila Estelle, chair of Walthamstow Friends of Lloyd Park, said that she hopes the trunk can be used for a suitable preservation project. “I have to say the council has been really good [at helping]. We’re keen to get local artists involved and I’ve had a couple of artists contact me to say they’re interested in doing something. Ideas so far include an exhibition to collate people’s memories of it.”

Local artist Tony Blackmore said the “beautiful” tree reminded him of 18th Century British landscape paintings. “It provided a focal point when walking into the park and when it was sunny you could really see the texture of the bark. Now it’s no longer there I really feel
its absence.”

The tree had many admirers. Credit: Brigit Collins

Photographer Brigit Collins believes she took over 100 photos of the tree in the 20 years she has lived opposite Lloyd Park and felt “incredibly sad” to see it come down on 2nd January. She says she particularly enjoyed the tree on late summer evenings “as the sun dipped behind its branches”.

She told the Echo: “Its evergreen leaves were a striking feature through the changing seasons, and it was dramatic to watch it in stormy weather. It provided beautiful shade during summer heatwaves. I will miss it.”

The council’s cabinet member for environment Clyde Loakes said: “We know how much it meant to the community and we share residents’ sorrow. Many local people have asked that we use the wood to create something for park users to enjoy for example, to create new play equipment. We are considering our options and look forward to letting the community know how we will ensure the wood will continue its role in bringing pleasure to park users in the near future.”

Walthamstow Friends of Lloyd Park is holding an AGM on Thursday 22nd February at Walthamstow Trades Hall. Interested in attending? Email: [email protected]