Greening in a conservation area with narrow streets requires a careful plan.
In the 1980s, Endell Street, the only ‘boulevard’ type street in the area, was planted with a wide variety of trees, following a well-attended public meeting. This scheme by Camden arboriculturalists has been extremely popular with residents and businesses alike. The Seven Dials Renaissance Study recommended no further planting as it is inappropriate and historically inaccurate. Instead, it recommended a return to the area’s historic planters above shop fronts. Shaftesbury PLC has implemented this recommendation on many of its shop fronts.
However, as a result of pressure for some planting and to remedy Camden’s planting of unsuitable Plane trees on the Dials roundabout, the Trust, together with the Covent Garden Community Association and Camden officers, drew up a scheme based on groups of trees in appropriate locations rather than rows. Each potential site required an electro-magnetic survey and trial pits because of the plethora of services beneath the footways. This scheme has created green clusters without compromising the integrity of the seventeenth-century layout or hiding the many fine façades.