The park is suffering from a worrying phenomenon, the incidence of which is on the increase: dogs ripping the bark from trees. The Head Gardener, Ric Glenn, has identified innumerable instances. As he explained, this is not simply a matter of aesthetics. A tree's vascular system lies in its cambium layer immediately beneath the bark, so if enough is destroyed, the tree will die.
Spotting the animals doing the damage is difficult, because their owners allow them free rein while they listen to music and/or peer intently at their mobile phones.
DPF is urging Southwark to take action to protect vulnerable trees by greasing or, more robustly, using low chestnut fencing surrounds, and also to make resources available to catch the culprits.
Please report any incidents to the Park Liaison Officer, Ciro DeLucia, on 07908 767 784, or the Contracts & Services Officer, Robert Roach, on 020 8693 8635 or 07950 763 151.