Thousands of free trees given out by Sadiq Khan to help rewild London

Katherine Johnston (09 October, 2019) Environment

'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'

32523Sydenham Hill Wood (c) Daniel Greenwood

Sadiq Khan is giving away 55,000 free trees in celebration of London’s successful bid to become the world’s first National Park City, and to fight climate change and toxic air.

The Mayor’s office wants to increase London’s tree canopy by ten per cent.

This year, the capital became the world’s first National Park City, in recognition of its biodiversity.

It is hoped the move will help spur on efforts to make the city even greener, and wilder.

Khan is aiming for nearly 100,000 new trees to be planted across the capital throughout autumn and winter to coincide with National Tree Week, running from November 23 to December 1.

Fifty-five-thousand of them will be given to London residents with support from the Woodland Trust and People’s Postcode Lottery.

You can either apply for one of 30,000 available tree growing packs for your gardens at home (which include a wild cherry and rowan tree) or apply as a community group for kits of 10, 20 or 50 trees.

Woodland Trust’s 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.”

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.”

To find out more and apply visit www.london.gov.uk/plant-a-tree

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