- Mayor has funded thousands of trees for ‘National Park City’ in London’s biggest ever mass planting weekend
- 75,000 trees have already been given to public and community groups
- 5,000 extra free trees available for Londoners this weekend
- Mayor launches new map revealing most detailed look at London’s tree canopy cover
A record 80,000 new trees will be planted across the capital by 15,000 Londoners in the city’s biggest ever mass tree-planting weekend.
The plant-a-thon will mark National Tree Week and help London become the world’s first National Park City.
The Mayor has worked with partners to fund 75,000 trees for Londoners, schools, and community groups to plant this weekend – 1 and 2 December – everywhere from private gardens, to community spaces, parks and underused green spaces.
More than 30 volunteering events will be taking place across the capital for Londoners to join in planting trees and help make the city even greener.
Following a fantastic initial response from the public, the Mayor is also offering 5,000 extra trees to Londoners who want to plant them in their garden – they will be available to pick up at ten locations this week (on a first-come first-served basis) including Morden Hall Park and Osterley Park. The trees to collect include popular garden species such as field maple, bird cherry, and rowan that attract wildlife and are easy to plant.
More than 15,000 Londoners have already signed up to plant trees this weekend:
- 12,000 Londoners who won trees in the ballot will be planting them at home
- More than 200 community groups and schools will be planting to help ‘green’ their local neighbourhoods and playgrounds
- Almost 2,000 people have volunteered for the four largest events in Redbridge, Enfield, Ealing and Lewisham.*
- 500 volunteers who will plant 15,000 trees in one day with Trees for Cities at Forest Road Recreation Ground in Redbridge on 1 December, transforming this space into a new community urban woodland. The new trees will attract bees, birds and butterflies, and Londoners will be able to forage the fruits and nuts that grow there.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “My Greener City Fund is investing £12m in trees and green spaces to help London reach the goal of being confirmed as the world’s first National Park City next summer and expanding the capital’s impressive ‘urban forest’ of eight million trees.
“This initiative is really capturing the imagination and it is fantastic to know that there will be so many Londoners out in force this week planting trees across the city.”
All the information about getting involved with the weekend is at: www.london.gov.uk/trees, including how to plant a tree, where you can plant it and how to care for it.
London’s trees provide at least £133m of benefits every year in terms of removing pollution and carbon dioxide from the air and reducing the amount of water going into drains. They help improve air quality by removing 2,241* tonnes of pollution every year, including the equivalent of 13 per cent of PM10 particulates and 14 percent of NO2 emitted by road transport, as well as storing carbon and creating A habitat for wildlife.
As well as the mass tree planting, the Mayor has funded new mapping of London’s tree canopy cover. This shows tree cover varies dramatically across the 32 boroughs – from 12 per to 28 per cent. Overall, it is estimated that trees cover around 21 per cent of the capital’s land area.
The mapping also showed that the ward with the highest tree cover in London is Hampstead Town in Camden – at just over 58 per cent. In total, 14 boroughs have more than 21 per cent tree cover. Although Islington has the highest population per square kilometre, tree cover across the borough averages 22 per cent, showing that very urban areas can also be leafy.
The Mayor has committed to increasing existing tree canopy cover by 10 per cent by 2050. This new map uses high-resolution aerial imagery of the whole of London to analyse tree cover using latest computing techniques. The data is now publicly available so anyone can download it and use it for further research. The map allows Londoners to put in their post codes and look at how leafy their neighbourhoods are.
Kate Sheldon, Deputy Chief Executive, Trees for Cities, said: “Trees for Cities is delighted to be the lead delivery partner for the Mayor of London’s first mass tree planting weekend. We welcome all Londoners to our fun, family-friendly planting days, giving everyone the opportunity to plant a tree. Together we will plant 25,000 trees in north, south, east and west London, creating beautiful urban woodland habitat for people to enjoy walking, foraging and spotting wildlife in years to come.”
Daniel Raven Ellison, National Park City campaigner, said: “There are as many trees living in London as people. It’s brilliant that so many of us are getting outside and planting more trees together – the more trees we share our city with the richer we will all be. The London National Park City is all about working together to make our city greener, healthier and wilder. Planting trees is one of the most powerful way to deliver on all three of those aims. Trees make London more beautiful, clean our air and provide valuable habitat for wildlife, and planting them is good for our health and can build friendship.”