On 2nd December, as part of London’s Mass Tree Planting Weekend, Trees for Cities brought the local community of Lewisham together to plant trees in Beckenham Place Park. This project was part of the regeneration of the park and 200 volunteers, including 64 children, helped to plant 2,000 whips (small trees) to create a mixed woodland. The new trees include Grey Willow, Alder, Hornbeam, Field Maple, Hazel, Guelder Rose, Beech, Lime, Birch, Crab Apple as well as others. The mixed selection will help increase biodiversity, biosecurity, and resilience to pests and diseases.
The local community was involved in the project from start to finish, engaging in consultation and volunteering activities throughout. Trees for Cities attended the local Ward meetings to speak to local residents and present the draft design and collect feedback. They also posted flyers in the houses local to the park. The flyers included a web link where local people had the chance to input and feedback on the draft design and vote for their favourite species.
The original planting site was changed following consultation with the local community and what would work best for existing wildlife and visitors to the park. The newly planted area has been designed to support biodiversity and resilience, encourage the use of the site and promote healthy living in an urban area. Trees for Cities will continue to care for the new whips for one year after which, care will be handed over to Lewisham Council as the landowner.
On the day with 96% of volunteers rating their experience as ‘excellent’ and 4% as ‘good’. 97% said they rated the organisation of the day as ‘excellent’ and 3% as ‘good’. With population levels rising, green spaces are under enormous demand and are a hugely valuable resource for recreation, health, biodiversity, relaxation, exercise, education, helping to combat harmful air pollution and more. The new trees will benefit the community of Lewisham for many years to come
Read more about the Naturesave Trust funded Trees For Cities mass planting event