Mayor plants the seed for a leafier London

05 December 2014

As part of National Tree Week the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced plans to make London leafier by planting the final 4,300 trees in his Street Tree Initiative. This is the third and final round of the initiative, which is on track to meet the Mayor’s commitment to plant an additional 10,000 street trees by March 2015.

The Mayor’s Street Tree Initiative is granting £600,000 of funding to 23 projects across 21 boroughs to help make London’s streets greener and increase canopy cover in the capital. The Mayor fulfilled a commitment to plant 10,000 street trees in his first term and planting this winter will bring the total number of trees planted under his Street Tree Initiatives to 20,000.

A further 22 projects across 16 boroughs 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 helps local community groups improve their green spaces. London groups put forward proposals to the Mayor to transform local green spaces into oases, orchards and woodlands, which will see over 4,000 trees being planted across the capital this winter. The Mayor is calling on Londoners to get involved in the planting, while getting to know their sessile oaks from their silver birches.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “By pulling out our green fingers and planting trees in our communities, we are making this city a more pleasant place to live and work in. I’m delighted these projects are transforming green spaces across London and I urge everyone to get outside, pick up a spade and get involved.”

Additionally, as part of National Tree Week, the Mayor is working with Trees for Cities ‘Plant to the Beat’ project, which will see volunteers plant 10,000 trees to create a new woodland in Blondin Park, Ealing on Saturday 6 December. The mass tree planting will transform the ‘green desert’ into thriving green spaces, biodiverse woodlands and edible hedgerows.

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.

ENDS

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. Trees for Cities is working in partnership with Ealing Council and with support from the Mayor of London, as well as partners including Defra and the Forestry Commission, to create an urban woodland in Ealing for the local community and visitors to enjoy for generations to come. For more information on Plant to the Beat visit: http://www.treesforcities.org/what-you-can-do/fundraising/plant-to-the-beat/ 5. National Tree Week. 29 November - 7 December 2014. 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 The mass planting events are part of Team London, the Mayor’s volunteering programme. For details of planting days, go to: http://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk/#s and search ‘Greening and Cleaning’ or ‘Speed Volunteering’ to find tree planting opportunities. 6. The latest batch of trees will be planted by spring 2015 in the following boroughs: Barnet - 72 Brent - 202 Camden - 100 Croydon - 194 Ealing - 1161 Enfield - 347 Hackney - 50 Hammersmith and Fulham - 100 Haringey - 200 Harrow - 400 Havering - 50 Hillingdon - 50 Hounslow - 200 Islington - 400 Kingston - 40 Lambeth - 300 Lewisham - 21 Merton - 110 Newham - 20 Redbridge - 80 Westminster - 181 TOTAL 4278 Please note - these figures are estimates subject to further planning work such as consultations with local people and detailed investigations of streets to be planted.

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