Mayor pledges thousands more trees to make London leafier

29 November 2013

As part of National Tree Week the Mayor of London today announced plans to make London leafier by planting thousands of trees on streets and community green spaces. Nearly £800,000 has been granted to community and borough projects to help local people improve their green spaces and increase canopy cover in the capital.

£690,000 has been granted to 24 borough projects for over 4,000 new street trees across the capital, as part of the second round of the Mayor’s street tree initiative, which has seen 12,000 trees planted on London’s roads and walkways so far. The Mayor is on target to plant 20,000 by March 2015.

A further 21 projects have received a share of a £100,000 pot to continue the successful RE:LEAF community grant scheme, which provides funding to bolster voluntary action and greening by local community groups. London groups put forward proposals to the Mayor to transform local green spaces into oases, orchards and woodlands, with 2,400 trees being planted across the capital this winter.

Additionally, as part of National Tree Week, the Mayor is working with Trees for Cities, the London Wildlife Trust and the Tree Council to plant 12,000 trees with the help of volunteers in locations across the capital, culminating in a community planting day on Saturday 30 November . The mass tree planting will transform ‘green deserts’ into thriving green spaces, biodiverse woodlands and edible hedgerows. The Mayor is calling on Londoners to get involved in the planting, while getting to know their native broadleafs from their black poplars.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: ‘Planting trees in our streets and neighbourhoods helps to make the city a more pleasant place to live, work and invest in. I’m delighted these projects are transforming green spaces and I’d urge everyone to pick up a spade and get involved.’

Trees have proven societal and environmental benefits: keeping London cool and improving air quality, increasing resilience against climate change, and enhancing the general health and well-being of city-dwellers by providing tranquil havens and play space. Urban greening also helps to maintain London's status as one of the world's most liveable big cities and improve the capital's international offer.

 

Notes to editors

  1. The Mayor’s Street Tree Initiative, delivered in partnership with the Forestry Commission, is open to all London boroughs and private landowners who own or manage public realm (including businesses, registered social landlords, etc). It is also open to civil society organisations and community groups working with or on behalf of boroughs and private landowners. For more information or to apply for a grant under the street tree initiative visit: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/greening-london/re-leaf/mayors-street-tree-initiative
  2. RE:LEAF Community Grant Scheme The RE:LEAF community grant scheme supports tree and woodland projects that have clear, tangible community benefits and local engagement. Grants of between £2,000 and £10,000, from a £300,000 pot, are available to any organisation or group representing the wider community. For more information or to apply for a grant under the scheme visit: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/greening-london/re-leaf
  3. The Mayor’s RE:LEAF partnership launched in January 2011 to create opportunities for Londoners, businesses and local communities to help protect London’s trees and increase London’s trees cover, helping to meet the Mayor’s target to increase tree canopy cover in the capital by five per cent by 2025. For more information on RE:LEAF partners visit: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/greening-london/re-leaf
  4. National Tree Week. 23 November - 1 December 2013. First mounted in 1975, National Tree Week is the UK's largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season. http://www.treecouncil.org.uk/community-action/national-tree-week T he mass planting events are part of Team London, the mayors volunteering programme. Details of planting days: http://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk/press/view/post/72
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