55,000 free trees up for grabs from the Mayor to mark Tree Week

03 October 2019


-         Londoners and community groups to be given trees


-         The Mayor also awards funding to 33 groups to plant 40,000 new trees


-          95,000 new trees funded by City Hall projects and set to be planted in London this winter



The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced that 55,000 free trees are up for grabs from today for Londoners to plant in their gardens and shared green spaces, and for larger community led ‘plant-athons’.


The 55,000 free trees are part of a total of 95,000 new trees the Mayor is helping Londoners plant this autumn and winter, including during National Tree Week (23 November – 1 December 2019).


London’s trees are estimated to are estimated to provide at least £133m of benefits every year including removing pollution and carbon dioxide from the air and reducing flood risk. They help improve air quality by removing 2,241* tonnes of pollution every year, including harmful PM10 particulates and NO2 roadside emissions. Trees also create a vital habitat for London’s wildlife and help to tackle climate change through storing carbon.


The Mayor is working with the Woodland Trust, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to provide 30,000 free trees for Londoners to plant in their gardens. A further 25,000 trees are being offered in partnership with TCV, the community volunteering charity to community groups and schools which wish to organise planting events.


Londoners can either apply for:

-         30,000 free trees from the Woodland Trust to plant in their private gardens or residential shared communal gardens. The trees are divided into packs of two, with each pack containing a wild cherry and a rowan tree, and a planting guide. Londoners are invited to apply to a ballot by 11 November at www.london.gov.uk/plant-a-tree

-         Community groups and schools who wish to organise community planting events can apply for 25,000 free trees from TCV for. Packs of 10, 20, or 50 trees are available, with a choice of species. Trees can be ordered now from www.london.gov.uk/trees. Online advice on tree planting, plus opportunities for Londoners to volunteer at the community planting events will be available from mid-October

-         The Mayor is also funding 40,000 trees for 33 local community tree planting projects through the Greener City Fund. Many of these projects will be hosting planting events during National Tree Week, including major events hosted by Trees for Cities in Newham and Redbridge, and TCV in Camden.


The free trees follow last month’s successful ‘Give It A Grow’ campaign, where 10,000 Londoners collected free planting kits to help bees and butterflies pollinate. The giveaways are part of the Mayor’s work to increase London’s tree canopy by 10 per cent by 2050 and maintain London’s status as the world’s first National Park City. The new trees bring the total funded by the Mayor’s programmes to over 270,000 since May 2016. Sadiq has also funded 200 green space improvements projects, enhancing 175 hectares across London so far with more to come.  


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London has some of the best green spaces and our commitment to preserving and increasing our tree canopy is one of the main reasons we are the world’s first National Park City. I want to encourage as many Londoners as possible to apply for our free tree packs, either for their own gardens or for organising community tree planting events, from schools to hospitals. Simple steps like planting trees help us as we address the climate and ecological crisis - and I look forward to thousands of new trees being planted across the city during National Tree Week.”


Woodland Trust Director of Conservation and External Affairs, Abi Bunker, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Mayor of London and the People’s Postcode Lottery to offer Londoners the opportunity to plant trees in their community. Urban trees are extremely important to people; they greatly enhance the places where we work and live. A simple tree helps keep the air clean that we breathe, supports wildlife, locks up carbon and adds value to the culture and economy of our City.


‘Trees for Londoners’ is part of the Woodland  Trust’s recent action, The Big Climate Fightback. A campaign to encourage one million people to pledge to plant a tree to help us fight the climate emergency we find ourselves in.”

TCV CEO, Darren York said: “Trees bring so many benefits, for people and for nature – they reduce air pollution, soak up CO2 and cool our cities, while providing food, shelter and habitats for our wildlife.  TCV is proud to be working together with the Mayor of London and the Woodland Trust in this National Tree Week initiative to help Londoners tackle the climate emergency and increase the capital’s tree canopy”.

Notes to editors

  1. The 30,000 trees for Londoners to plant at home are part of the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback campaign, which is calling on one million people across the UK to pledge to plant a tree to help fight the climate emergency:http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/our-campaigns/big-climate-fightback/
  2. The 33 Community Tree Planting projects funded through the Mayor’s Greener City Fund can be found online at:https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/parks-green-spaces-and-biodiversity/greener-city-fund/community-tree-planting-grants-2019-20#acc-i-58978. Over 200 green space and tree planting projects have been supported by the Greener City Fund since 2017. *Figures from the London iTree Eco report 2015:https://www.london.gov.uk/WHAT-WE-DO/environment/environment-publications/valuing-londons-urban-forest

3. All trees provided by the Woodland Trust and the Conservation Volunteers are UK sourced and grown. The packs of two trees provided by the Woodland Trust for Londoners to plant at home include one rowan tree and one wild cherry, relatively small trees suitable for gardens that also provide valuable habitat for a range of wildlife. Trees in TCV community tree packs are available in a number of combinations, specially chosen for hedgerows, wildlife habitat, and providing fruit.

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