'M25 for nature' to surround London with border of trees

By SWNS

5th Dec 2023 | Local News

An "M25 for nature" is being created to surround London with a border of trees. (Photo Credit: SWNS).
An "M25 for nature" is being created to surround London with a border of trees. (Photo Credit: SWNS).

An "M25 for nature" is being created to surround London with a border of trees.

The wildlife superhighway is being created by a charity, to help Mayor Sadiq Khan with his Christmas wish to plant more trees in the capital.

London's Countryside Charity (CPRE), formerly known as the Council for the Protection of Rural England, has been raising funds to plant trees, hedgerows and orchards that will encircle London, in order to achieve the Mayor's two million tree goal.

Anna Taylor, CPRE London's director, said: "Our proposed tree ring route unlocks the potential for more planting in and around the capital.

"We've already identified more than 100 opportunity sites for woodland creation so far thanks to suggestions from the public and local authority green space staff.

has been raising London's Countryside Charity has been raising funds to plant trees, hedgerows and orchards that will encircle London. (Photo Credit: SWNS)

"We have also, excitingly, worked with Greenspace Information for Greater London to map a route for creating habitat connectivity which is based on where existing woodland is, the best woodland creation opportunities, current recorded land uses, and the recorded location of other more scattered trees.

"This route may vary a bit over time as we gather more detailed information about the sites along the way – but this gives us a strong start and clear areas to investigate further."

So far, the Mayor has planted around half a million trees since 2016 and across the country England is achieving less than half of the annual tree planting targets.

If the capital is going to reach its ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 then the charity believe action needs to be taken now, which they intend to take into their own hands with this new project.

However, finding land suitable for planting their border of trees was not an easy task.

Ms Taylor said: "A large part of the challenge for organisations involved in tree planting is identifying suitable sites.

"This takes time and the resourcefulness of local people to let us know where there is land they think we can plant on, and landowners ready to look at ways of getting their land working harder for the environment."

"Sites can be large or small. Large sites might include ex landfill or other ex-industrial sites ready to be decontaminated and topped with lots of soil and planting, or large derelict or fly-tipped pieces of land lying unused.

"Smaller sites might be unimaginatively managed green space near schools or hospitals which could include inviting wooded areas with paths and benches.

"More tree planting near to the tributaries of London's rivers would be particularly valuable, helping reduce flood risk and improve water quality."

CPRE London is participating in this week's Big Give Christmas Challenge to try and raise as much money as possible for the project.

Ms Taylor added: "The Big Give is a great charity initiative which means any donations we receive this week will be doubled - so the money will go twice as far and help twice as much."

     

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