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Capital’s Tree-planting Heroes recognised...


Filed under: Government News  Green Space & Conservation 

Capital’s Tree-planting heroes recognised as Mayor calls on volunteer army to help make London leafier

      • Tree-planting projects rewarded at the first RE:LEAF Awards
      • 50,000  Trees set to be planted by the end of the mayoral term
      • Nine boroughs receive last batch of Mayor's funding for new street Trees

Volunteers and Community Groups have been rewarded for helping to make the Capital greener by planting thousands of new Trees, as the Mayor Boris Johnson called on Londoners to help him meet an ambitious target of planting at least 50,000 during this Mayoral Term.

Among the winners of the RE:LEAF awards are:
   •    a project which has planted 1,200 street Trees for the benefit of residents and businesses;
   •    a nature reserve which has been transformed thanks to the efforts of an army of volunteers;
   •    a social enterprise which helps schoolchildren learn about the environment through visits to local Woodlands.

RE:LEAF, launched by the Mayor at the start of the year, is encouraging individuals, businesses and organisations to plant more Trees in the capital and value the social and environmental benefits of Trees. The partnership has brought together key organisations to boost Tree cover through a range of initiatives including the development of community orchards and Tree-nurseries, mass Tree planting events and voluntary Tree warden schemes.

Trees offer a range of benefits to the environment such as providing shade and cooling, helping to improve local air quality and making areas more attractive to both people and wildlife. The Mayor has a target to increase Tree cover from 20 per cent today to 25 per cent by 2025 by working with boroughs and other partners. This equates to a Tree for every new Londoner as London's population grows.

To mark National Tree Week, the Mayor has kickstarted a drive through his Team London initiative to recruit at least 4,000 volunteers to take part in mass Tree-planting, become Tree champions or join new Tree Warden networks, with the aim of planting, protecting and maintain neighbourhood Trees to help him reach the target of 50,000 Trees planted during this mayoral term.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Making London a leafier and greener city by planting more Trees is one of the key ways we are helping to improve quality of life in the city.
“Hearty congratulations to all those Londoners who are being recognised through the RE:LEAF awards for rolling up their sleeves and helping us on this mission but there is more to be done.
“Working with our partners, and through Team London, there is a raft of opportunities available for people to get involved in Tree planting in their local area to ensure we meet our target to have 50,000 Trees take root by Spring next year."

The Forestry Commission’s RE:LEAF Community Grant Scheme is a Tree and Woodland grant programme for London, delivered in partnership with social and environmental regeneration charity Groundwork London. The scheme funds projects which offer local communities an opportunity to improve their local environment. Those areas in greatest need are targeted, with a particular emphasis on improving the health and well-being of local communities. The programme has supported 171 projects, securing £1.5m investment resulting in the planting of  42,000 small Trees, 2,500 large Trees and encouraged the management and restoration of over 1000 has of London's Woodlands.

Chair of the Forestry Commission, Pam Warhurst, said: "The Forestry Commission is delighted to be a partner in the London RE:LEAF programme. The RE:LEAF awards evening is an important annual event when we can recognise organisations, individuals and schools that help to improve London through their dedication to Trees and Woodlands. London's Trees and Woodlands are highly regarded by those who live and work in our capital city. They make our streets more attractive and can help to bring communities together as well as providing shelter , reducing pollution and helping to mitigate against climate change."

In addition, the Mayor confirmed today where the final 650 of his 10,000 street Trees will be planted. Over the last three years of the mayoral term, 9,500 new street Trees have already been planted. Nine boroughs will be recipients of the final batch of Trees, which will be planted in areas where they are most needed.

Among today’s RE:LEAF Award winners, honoured with a presentation ceremony at City Hall, are:

      • street Tree award: London Borough of Barking and Dagenham street Tree Planting — the project, run by the borough supported by the Mayor's street Tree programme, has planted more than 1,200 new Trees, increasing street Tree cover in the borough by about 25 per cent;
      • Community Trees and Woodland award: Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park – a nature reserve which is being maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers
      • The Tree Council's Trees and Learning award: Joyden’s Wood — managed by the Woodland Trust, the Joyden’s Wood in Bexley has benefited thousands of local people through events and activities aimed specifically towards children and families.

NOTES

1. For a full list of RE:LEAF Award winners, visit: www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/urban-space/releaf-london/releaf-partners/releaf-awards

2. The London Tree and Woodland Awards have been held annually for the past three years and have this year been rebranded the RE:LEAF Awards. These awards aim to recognise committed individuals, enterprising groups and organisations, and excellent projects that have promoted and enhanced the conservation and management of Trees and Woodlands in London. The awards are being held jointly by the Mayor of London and the Forestry Commission and are in part sponsored by Gristwood and Toms, a UK Tree management company.

3. The boroughs which will benefit from the remaining 500 new street Trees to be planted this winter are:
Bexley  —  Erith
Brent — Neasden
Camden — Central Camden and Kilburn
Hammersmith and Fulham — Hammersmith
Hillingdon — Yiewsley
Redbridge — Seven Kings and Goodmayes
Waltham Forest — Leyton North
Westminster — Paddington and Church street
Lambeth — Coldharbour

4. RE:LEAF  aims to increase London’s Tree cover from 20% to 25% by 2025. Working in partnership with the Forestry Commission and third sector organisations such as the Woodland Trust and Trees for Cities the Mayor is developing projects and initiatives to support Londoners to green the capital. For further information about the Mayor’s RE:LEAF London campaign please visit www.london.gov.uk/releaf-london .

5. Team London is the Mayor’s ambitious programme to mobilise an army of volunteers across the capital to improve life in London through programmes that will reduce crime, increase opportunities for youth and improve quality of life by cleaning and greening London and building stronger neighbourhoods. Since 2008, the Mayor's programmes have galvanised tens of thousands of Londoners into action and Team London is now seeking to encourage an additional 10,000 volunteers by May 2012. Please visit www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon for more information, to find and post volunteering opportunities, and to nominate your volunteering heroes for a certificate of recognition from the Mayor.


6. A film about the RE:LEAF Community Grant Scheme can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/groundworklondon

   Hilary Merrett — Senior Press Officer
   Environment Desk
   Mayor of London's Press Office
   T: 020 7983 4755
   M: 07747 766673
   Twitter — @hfmerrett

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