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The view of St Paul’s and the London skyline from Waterlow Park.

Public engagement 2023 (CLOSED 7th December)

The Waterlow Park Trust has released a statement about the outcome >

The Trees and Views Group have also commented on the outcome >

Trees framing the views of London towards St Paul’s Cathedral have been a feature of Waterlow Park since it was donated to the people of London in 1889, but you may have found it increasingly difficult to spot the familiar cathedral dome as they have grown into the view of the London skyline. With the passage of time the views of St Paul’s Cathedral are now ‘glimpsed’ through the tree canopy of the park and may disappear in the future. This developing situation was recognised more than a decade ago by the Friends of Waterlow Park who formed a ‘Trees and Views’ Group.

Waterlow Park was given in trust by Sir Sydney Waterlow in 1889 to the people of London as a ‘garden for the gardenless’. The Waterlow Park Trust is a registered charity with Camden Council the sole Trustee. The Trust has an Advisory Group made up of local stakeholders. Camden Green Space manage the park.

Trees are currently managed under the Council’s Tree Policy, which does not support the pruning or removal of trees for the obstruction of views, and is based on arboricultural best practice. Trees help to keep our air clean, cool our neighbourhoods, provide habitat for wildlife and help to tackle the climate emergency. They also contribute to the landscape character of the Park.Tree planting is reviewed by the Trees and Views Group with particular care taken to avoid new trees obscuring key views which change over time as trees grow.

This survey intends to research public opinion as to whether the Trust should consider a proposal to reduce a specific Lime tree in the Park to enhance and preserve the skyline of London and a view towards St Paul’s Cathedral.

Proposal A

Significant height reduction of one lime tree

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From proposed new viewpoint (see map and in-park notice)
(move vertical slider to see difference following tree work)


  • Opens a new viewpoint of St Paul’s from the path near the statue of Sir Sydney Waterlow.
  • Preserves and enhances status of Waterlow Park as a unique vantage point above London.
  • Significantly enhances views of the London skyline walking along the path.
  • Responds to public feedback on the importance of views.


  • Significant work to a mature tree for an aesthetic reason is not good arboricultural practice.
  • Reduction in the tree’s ability to capture carbon and air pollution 
  • Loss of tree canopy and some wildlife habitat.
  • Will need regular maintenance to control grow-back in order to retain the view


  • Some risk the lime tree may not recover from the work and die.
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From current sightline by the statue of Sir Sydney

Proposal B

Not to undertake a significant reduction to the lime 

Height reduced master sept 2023 wide 600


  • Maintains maximum canopy and the associated carbon capture and wildlife value.
  • No immediate or long term costs.


  • St Paul’s will no longer be visible from the park in a few years time (without unexpected loss of mature trees and assuming continued growth).
  • No re-opened skyline views from the path. leading to a sense of increasing enclosure within the Park over time.


  • Potential for visitor disappointment / lower numbers if Waterlow Park does not retain a reputation as a prime location for appreciating views of St Paul’s and the London skyline.

Sightlines of St Paul’s – Map

Have your say


Note that the image at the head of the page is of the view as it would appear if tree work was undertaken.