I wasn’t surprised to find graffiti in another of Greenford’s open spaces. Grove Farm is secluded, hidden away behind homes and office buildings, which has allowed someone to let rip with a can of white spray paint on standing trees and decaying tree trunks. As far as local conservationists are concerned, paint is the least of their worries. Today the government announced a plan of action to tackle the outbreak of Chalara, commonly known as Ash Dieback. Apart from that Greenford’s many oaks are at risk from Oak Processionary Moth, one of several threats to local trees.
Grove Farm is a lovely place but for one family it will always represent the worst kind of grief. In 2005 the body of a talented and promising student lay undiscovered here for eight days, following her rape and murder. The case of Jeshma Raithatha raised questions about the level of scrutiny applied to immigrants with criminal records, as the man responsible for her murder had previous convictions for rape committed in Latvia.
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