12 February 2009
First 1500 of Mayor’s 10,000 street trees are planted across London
Ten boroughs across London are set to become greener and more attractive thanks to the arrival of nearly 1500 new street trees funded by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The Mayor today planted one of the first trees in Islington.
During his election the Mayor pledged efficiency savings would be ploughed into 10,000 street trees to improve Londoners' quality of life.
The Mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘I have made it a top priority that we make our city a more attractive place to work, live and visit and reversing the decline of street trees is one way for us to do this. I cannot think of a more uplifting way to usher in the spring than the arrival of these brand spanking new trees.
‘This is just the first phase of my programme to make our communities leafier by, during my term of office, planting over 10,000 street trees in areas that have the least.’
The first batch of trees are now being planted in Havering (62 trees), Southwark (122 trees), Tower Hamlets (145 trees), Islington (230 trees), Haringey (250 trees), Merton (47 trees), Brent (100 trees), Redbridge (70 trees), Newham (380 trees) and Hillingdon (51 trees). Londoners say that improvements to their local environment help to make their communities better places to live, and these trees are being planted specifically in areas that will most benefit by boroughs, community groups or charities who applied for funds from the Mayor’s tree programme.
London is a very green city compared to other world cities, but the Mayor's street tree and parks programmes are helping to make London greener, which benefits both Londoners' quality of life as well as helping tackle issues such as climate change. About 1.75 million Londoners live in areas that are further than 1km from an area of space of containing nature and/or wildlife - this has been factor in choosing which are the areas are being given priority for street trees.
Street trees offer a range of benefits including attracting wildlife, providing shade, helping improve local air quality and reducing flood risk.
The Mayor's street tree programme is managed by the Forestry Commission and is an expansion of their existing London Tree and Woodland Grant Scheme. The Forestry Commission is working in partnership with the environmental charity Groundwork London to manage the scheme. For detailed guidance on how to bid for funding from of the Mayor’s tree funding are available from groundwork-london.org.uk/ltwgs. The second phase of funding will start in April.
The Mayor's trees programme is being funded by efficiency measures which includes significant cost savings by the scrapping of the Londoner, a newspaper distributed to three million homes across Greater London by the previous administration.
For media enquiries please call Hilary Merrett in the Mayor’s Press Office on 020 7983 4755 or Nicola Dillon on 020 7983 4066/email both on
Notes to editors
The Mayor wants the new trees to be planted in 40 residential areas where few street trees exist and which would most benefit from them – the first 20 locations that are eligible to apply for funding across 15 boroughs are: Dagenham, Barking, Stepney, Bow Common/Bromley by Bow, Camberwell, Borough, Seven Kings and Good Mayes, Forest Gate, Mitcham Road, Caledonian Road/Kings Cross, Yiewsley, Havering Riverside, Haringey East, Hammersmith and North Kensington, Downs Park vicinity, Shoreditch, Penge, Neasden, Kilburn and central Camden.
- The Mayor wants to see new street trees in every borough across London and additional areas will be announced later this year.
- Street tree planting may be subject to local consultation.
- It is expected that successful locations within these areas will benefit from around 100-400 new street trees over the Mayor's four-year term.
- The eligible locations were selected by a panel of tree experts including: Trees for Cities, the London Tree Officers Association, the Forestry Commission, Greenspace Information for Greater London, the Greater London Authority, the London Development Agency, Transport for London, London Councils, the Tree Council and Natural England.
- The London regional office of Forestry Commission works in partnership with a range of national, regional and local bodies to promote and secure the benefits which trees and woodlands offer to London. These benefits include a place for recreation, a place to observe wildlife, a source of woodland products and a contribution to the landscape whether this is in local woodlands or in parks and residential streets.
- As a charity, Groundwork London works alongside local communities, public bodies, private companies and other voluntary sector organisations to support communities in need. They have more than twenty-five years’ experience of delivering bespoke projects that use the environment as a catalyst for building a more sustainable future. Last year alone Groundwork London delivered almost 700 projects across the capital, helping improve the quality of people’s lives, their prospects and potential and the places where they live, work and play.
- Areas which do not lie within a priority area may be eligible for a grant from the Forestry Commission who provide grants to support tree planting in other streets, open spaces, schools and woodland through their Community Grant. More information can be found at groundwork-london.org.uk/ltwgs