- Mayor urges Londoners to sign up to Team London's new tree planting volunteering programme
- 10,000 trees for community groups to create urban orchards, wildlife havens and help beautify the city all year round
As part of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson's ongoing focus on greening the capital, two new initiatives have today been announced to help Londoners plant more than 20,000 trees.
In partnership with the Woodland Trust, the Mayor is offering 100 free tree packs for community groups to reclaim public spaces such as churches, playgrounds, or patches of unused land by planting 10,500 trees.
The packs comprise three types of different trees varieties designed to help green the city and improve quality of life. These are themed to help plant trees that provide seasonal colour such as hazel and birch; fruit trees including crab apple and cherry plum, and also trees that will provide a haven for native wildlife such as hawthorn, which is loved by greenfinches and starlings.
In a further drive to create a greener London, the Mayor has today called for people to register their interest in becoming tree planting volunteers in the latest campaign being driven by his Team London programme. The Mayor announced in March that he was seeking groups to bid for £250,000 to create volunteer tree planting programmes. It has been confirmed that the money will be awarded to the Londoners Love Trees consortium, which is made up of Trees for Cities and the Tree Council. This group will now work with the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) and Barcham's Trees to drive tree-planting volunteering.
Among other goals, over the next nine months the consortium aims to plant at least 10,000 trees, create a legacy of trained volunteers and empower local communities to help green their local neighbourhoods. More details will be announced shortly on how to get involved, but to register interest in tree planting to help beautify London, go to: www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon.
The Mayor is working to boost tree planting in London. Since 2008 he has funded a programme to deliver 10,000 more street trees by 2012 in residential areas across the capital that most need them. 9,500 of these are already in the ground. Earlier this year, the Mayor launched RE:LEAF to redouble tree planting efforts working with major tree and environmental organisations.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London’s leafy suburbs and green spaces are the lungs of the capital. They help breath life into our communities, protect the environment and speak to our national yearning for the countryside.
“Increasing the number of trees in the capital is the perfect challenge for the army of volunteers I want to now recruit through Team London. This is a core part of my campaign to put the village back into the city and help make the capital a greener, cleaner, better place to live.”
In addition to improving the look and feel of a neighbourhood, street trees offer a range of benefits such as attracting wildlife, providing shade, helping to improve local air quality and reducing flood risk. A tree-lined street has only 10-15 per cent of the dust of a street without trees, as well as being 6-10C cooler.
The latest RE:LEAF campaign has been announced on the day the Mayor’s Director of Environment Kulveer Ranger joined key representatives from environmental and tree charities at a tree-planting in Devonshire Street, Westminster. He was joined by Pam Warhurst, chairman of the Forestry Commission, and representatives from W1W Tree Planting Initiative in Westminster, who donated the tree.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- RE:LEAF aims to increase London’s tree cover from 20% to 25% by 2025. Working in partnership with the Forestry Commission and third sector organisations such as the Woodland Trust and Trees for Cities the Mayor is developing projects and initiatives to support Londoners to green the capital. For further information about the Mayor’s RE:LEAF London campaign please visit www.london.gov.uk/releaf-london
- Team London is the Mayor's newly launched volunteering initiative. London is the first city outside of the US to adopt the Cities of Service model, developed by Michael Bloomberg for New York City and now successfully operating in over 100 other US cities.
- Team London Stars - the Mayor is calling on Londoners to help him to uncover some of the capital's unsung heroes. More than 70 per cent of Londoners volunteer their time and energy at least once a year and the Mayor wants to publically recognise this goodwill, which plays a valuable part in helping to transform the city and improve local communities. Londoners are being asked to nominate those who give up their time to help others to become a Team London Star. For more information go to www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon
- The Mayor has funded the community tree packs with £15,000, which will result in 10,500 extra trees in the capital. The Woodland Trust have created a bespoke London page for the packs which is www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/londonfreetrees
- The community tree packs are designed to help groups to plant more trees, hedges and copses in their local shared spaces. To be eligible for a free pack, the trees must be planted by a local community group on land that everyone in the area can enjoy and benefit from. Applicants must ensure that their community planting event is an open invite so local people can attend. Community tree packs are not eligible for planting in private gardens or on land with no public benefit.
- The latest RE:LEAF campaign has been announced on the day the Mayor’s Director of Environment Kulveer Ranger joined key representatives from environmental and tree charities at a tree-planting in Devonshire Street, Westminster. He was joined by Pam Warhurst, chairman of the Forestry Commission, and representatives from W1W Tree Planting Initiative in Westminster, who donated the tree.