Environmental activists are calling on Brent Council to devote more resources to the protection of trees in the borough.

Brent Trees held a public meeting last week where councillors and council officers were invited to outline the approach to managing trees in the region.

Its members explained how the group was formed following an announcement to fell a series of trees in Furness Road, Harlesden.

It managed to save some of them but also noted how a 150-year-old tree in Paddington Cemetery was cut down last year.

A spokesman for the group believes more can be done in terms of tree care in Brent and said it would use the council’s ongoing budget consultation to voice its opinion.

He said: “We are aware of the extraordinary impact of the austerity driven cuts imposed on the council by central government since 2010.

“Nevertheless, the climate emergency is so serious we have no choice but to raise the environment protection bar to an unprecedented level.

“We believe this can be achieved in Brent if both residents and the council take inspiration from other local authorities in London and across the UK, emulating best practice. We simply have no other choice.”

Brent Trees also urged the council to hire more street tree officers, noting that Brent only has one whereas boroughs with “similar socio-economic deprivation profiles” such as Tower Hamlets and Haringey have two and four respectively.

A spokeswoman for Brent Council explained that, last year, it began a £20 million street improvement programme.

This included a review of the health of street trees in the borough and, where necessary, would lead to their removal.

She added the council is “committed to replacing any trees that are removed as part of this programme with a new tree in the same spot or nearby”.

“We have recognised the strength of feeling about keeping mature trees in place for as long as possible and have made a number of changes to our programme, based on residents’ feedback,” he said.

“This is an ongoing conversation and we welcome Brent Trees’ views and ideas, as well as other residents who are interested in this area.

“We also recognise the importance of tree planting more widely. We have a long-standing promise to plant at least 520 trees this year, and we are already set to exceed that target.”