Horsenden Hill planting
Tree planting at Horsenden Hill (Trees for Cities)

Can you dig it? Yes, you can…

12 December 2017

Ben from our Environment Team tells us why he enjoyed a day planting trees, and why you could too…

It’s not every day you get the chance to help reduce air pollution, give wildlife a home, combat climate change and keep London cool. But spend a day planting trees, and you’ll do all this and more.

That’s why on Saturday 9 December, I joined over 100 local people to plant thousands of trees at Horsenden Hill in Greenford. Fuelled by hot tea, home-made curry and lots of community spirit, it was an inspiring, exhausting and hugely rewarding day.

“Our first time and definitely not our last time.” “It’s great to feel like you’re doing something for the environment.” These were just some of the comments from the diverse group of Londoners planting trees in the winter sunshine.

Creating a working woodland

The mass tree plant was part of Trees for Cities’ Horsenden Hill Working Woodland project. This has seen more than 8,000 trees planted by over 500 people to create a new urban woodland at this historic site in the last week. Horsenden Hill is the biggest nature conservation site in Ealing. It’s also the borough’s highest point, with both ancient woodland and open grassland.

The new woodland won’t just improve the environment, it will be used for community-led crafting and social enterprise activities from green woodwork to basket weaving.

David Elliot, CEO of Trees for Cities wants, “Horsenden Hill to become a self-sustaining, working urban woodland. A resource for local communities, that connects people with its most ancient trees.”

Planting 20,000 trees across London

Horsenden Hill Working Woodland is one of 29 local projects being supported by the Mayor’s Community Tree Planting Grants this winter. By March 2018, this funding will have supported planting of over 20,000 new trees across London.

The Mayor wants to give more Londoners a chance to help make their city greener. This ambition sits at the heart of the Mayor’s ambition to improve access to green space and make London the first National Park City. If you’d like to dig in, use our Greener City map to find projects near you.