Pop up forests, 1,000’s of streets trees & new phone app

23 May 2014

Pop up forests in shopping centres, free ‘green spotters’ commuter phone app and kick starting the planting of thousands of new trees across local streets are just some of the exciting things happening during this year’s London Tree Week from Saturday 24th – 31st May, supported by the Mayor of London.

Visitors to Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and Vauxhall Station can explore temporary green forests ‘popping up’ for a week. Afterwards the trees will be planted locally to permanently brighten the community.

Commuters can also download a free tree app ‘Tree Routes’, that uses the tube map to flag interesting facts about trees near stations. Look out for the ‘Swamp Cyprus’ tree near St Pauls, a rare wild Black Poplar in Angel, ash trees in White City and the Dickens’ Oak at Chigwell.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is supporting the initiative as part of his work to make deliver 100,000 more trees in the capital and encourage people to get involved in fun and interesting projects.

The Mayor, Boris Johnson said: “These great projects help the environment and make our city a greener and more enjoyable place. From boosting air quality to brightening our streets, I will continue supporting the planting of thousands of more trees and schemes encouraging people to get involved in green activities.”

As well as walking tours, exhibitions and training events, during the week Londoners will be able to enjoy the 4,329 new street trees planted across 23 boroughs as part of the Mayor’s Street Tree Initiative. The scheme has delivered 16,000 streets since the Mayor launched it in 2008.

Funding recipients include the Streatham Bridge Business Association in Lambeth who were given £67,500 to plant 300 trees across several busy streets in the Streatham area where there was little canopy cover. Residents and Lambeth Council were closely consulted on the plans to ensure trees were placed in excellent locations.

London Tree week highlights include:

  • Rooting for Trees Exhibition, City Hall, 26-30 May.
  • Photographer Emma Phillips worked with The Tree Council to produce images of Tree Wardens at various locations where they feel most strongly connected with trees. Each portrait offers a story about the importance of one, or many, trees. It also explores what motivates different people to plant, care for and help with the conservation of trees in their neighbourhood.
  • Walk or cycle the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Trail.
  • Watch out for two new forests popping up in Vauxhall and Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre Sunday 25 May
  • Guided walk from Thames Chase Forest Centre to Cranham Nature Reserve celebrating the countryside. Starts10:30am, finishes 12:30pm. Thames Chase Visitor Centre, Broadfields, Pike Lane, Upminster, RM14 3NS.
  • Keith Pettit designer, signmaker, illustrator, wood engraver and sculptor, whose passion is working with elm, will demonstrate his work in the Covent Garden Apple Market. And then at 3.30pm there will be a giveaway of specially grown Ulmus londinium elms Monday 26 May
  • Guided tree walk in Hyde Park (Royal Parks walk) - 10am, meet at Hyde Park Corner entrance to Hyde Park: as part of London Tree Week join a Royal Parks arboricultural officer for an informal guided walk to look at many of the more interesting, exotic, old and unusual trees within The Royal Parks. Walks last for approximately 2 hours and this one will include the huge Caucasian Elm, a Chinese Mahogany and a rare Wollemi Pine. Tuesday 27 May
  • Guided tree walk in Kensington Gardens (Royal Parks walk) - 10am, meet at the fountains in the Italian Garden, Kensington Gardens: as part of London Tree Week join a Royal Parks arboricultural officer for an informal guided walk to look at many of the more interesting, exotic, old and unusual trees within The Royal Parks. Walks last for approximately 2 hours and this one will visit a group of interesting Oaks, some 300 year old veteran Sweet Chestnuts, a Californian headache tree and maybe glimpse a Tawny Owl.
  • Trees Design Action Group workshop – Trees in the Hard Landscape (invite only)
  • Children’s woodcraft event (making huts in the Forest) – Thames Chase Visitor Centre, Broadfields, Pike Lane, Upminster, Essex RM14 3NS Wednesday 28 May
  • Children’s mat weaving using dried forest materials (twigs, grass, leaves) - Thames Chase Visitor Centre, Broadfields, Pike Lane, Upminster, Essex RM14 3NS
  • Oak processionary moth training event with the Forestry Commission. Find out what to look for and how to report suspected cases. Holly Lodge Richmond Park, 10:00am - 2:00pm.
  • Join conservation volunteers on a community learning day to look at some of the trees in Mereway Nature Park and Knellor and Crane Parks. Appreciate how many different trees there are, how different species grow and why they are important. There will also be practical work to do such as dead hedging, grass cutting and some meadow work, 10:00am - 4:00pm. Thursday 29 May
  • London Orchard Project orchard leaders training and birthday celebration.
  • Tree or False? Have fun delving into the mythology of trees around the Ice Age Tree Trail in the gardens surrounding the Imperial War Museum.
  • Discover the natural history of Sydenham Hill Wood and the Great North Wood (7:00pm - 8:30pm) - attend this free walk and get to know your local wildlife. London Wildlife Trust will help you to discover ancient woodland wildflowers, bats, owls and butterflies and teach you how to identify trees and birdsong. Meeting point is inside the Crescent Wood Road entrance. Saturday 31 May
  • Tree Walks in Central London - including the second oldest plane tree in London in Brunswick Square, organised by the Association of Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens, in association with Val Martin Memorial walks. The second oldest plane tree in London is in Brunswick Square and Mecklenburgh Square garden (normally closed to the public) will be open to view the New Zealand border.
  • Trees and Landscapes in the National Gallery - Tree Week goes indoors and appreciates trees in art. Join Linda Bolton a tour of paintings depicting the natural world in the National Gallery from 2-3:00pm. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis, email: [email protected] to book.


Notes to editors

1. London Tree Week runs 24-31 May. For more information and booking details visit https://www.london.gov.uk/get-involved/events/london-tree-week-2014

2. Under the Mayor's street tree scheme, which is delivered in partnership with the Forestry Commission and Groundwork London, local boroughs, community groups and charities can apply for funding from a pot of £1.7m to plant street trees. Recipients work with the community to identify areas where local people most want trees, and many of the successful applicants have taken into account planting requests from members of the public made during the Mayor's previous street tree programme completed in his first term.

3. 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/...

4. 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 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/.... For more information on RE:LEAF partners visit: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/greening-london/re-leaf

5. Community spirited volunteers were one of the highlights of summer 2012. The Mayor wants to drive even more Londoners to do something great for their city by joining Team London and volunteering in their local community. To search for opportunities or to sign up to receive updates of new volunteering opportunities go to www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon

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