‘He leaves a huge legacy’: Tributes paid to conservationist who campaigned tirelessly for York

A tireless campaigner for York: Philip Crowe. Photograph: My Castle Gateway / YouTube

Tributes have been paid to a York environmental campaigner who has died aged 86.

Philip Crowe chaired Treemendous – a project aiming to plant trees across York and work on other environmental activities around the city.

He was a tireless campaigner for the city and its environment, leading the charge against building ‘Coppergate II’ near Clifford’s Tower through York Tomorrow, which he chaired.

Mr Crowe was also an architect and illustrator. He died on September 13.

A spokes person for Treemendous paid tribute to him, saying: “We are all so shocked to learn of this extremely sad news.

“Philip was so committed to the protection, enhancement and promotion of trees and tree planting which made such a difference to the streetscape and landscape within York.”

Drove project forward

A post of the group’s Facebook page says: “It is with sadness that Treemendous has to report that Philip Crowe, our chair since we started over nine years ago, has died.

“He led the project since its inception in 2011, and has driven it forward with close links with the City of York Council and the other members of the group.

“He died in York Hospital, unexpectedly after a short illness on September 13.

“He was 86, and leaves a wife, two sons and grandchildren, and a huge legacy of tree planting in York and beyond.

“Treemendous York will be planting a memorial tree near where he lived in Clifton sometime this planting season.”

Treemendous has planted 50,000 trees and native hedgerow trees in York since 2011, when it was launched.

Mr Crowe also spoke on environmental issues at many council meetings.

He spoke in opposition to controversial plans for a housing development proposed for land next to Askham Bog.

He was also championed a proposal to see the area around the base of Clifford’s Tower turned into a public space of grassed parkland as part of the Castle Gateway scheme.

The Treemendous project was nominated for a Community Pride award in 2015.

The scheme was launched following the 2010 “York – New City Beautiful” report by Prof Alan Simpson and his team for City of York Council, which recommended major tree planting. It contained many recommendations on “green” issues, including proposals for major tree planting.