The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, marked National Tree Week today by announcing a half a million pounds investment into tree-planting across the capital as he planted the 500,000th tree funded during his Mayoralty.
London boroughs will be supported to plant almost 3,000 street trees this winter. In addition, the Mayor is giving away another 40,000 trees to Londoners in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)’s ‘I Dig Trees’ campaign.
The new £500,000 funding is all part of the Mayor’s £3.1million Trees for London Fund. In his Environment Strategy, the Mayor has committed to increase tree cover in London by 10 per cent (from 21 per cent to 23.1 per cent) by 2050 to protect and enhance the capital’s environment for future generations. London’s trees now cover an area that would fill Hyde Park more than 239 times.
The Mayor has invested almost £7 million since 2016 into planting a record-breaking 500,000 trees. Trees and woodlands have a critical role to play in helping tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.
They help protect London from flooding and overheating, improve air quality, and provide places for wildlife to thrive. More deprived areas tend to have less trees and canopy cover on average, and the Mayor is working to address this, and ensure all Londoners have access to green space and trees.
- invested more than £30m for green space and tree planting projects across London, providing shade and making the city greener and cooler for people and animals to enjoy as our climate changes
- supported the planting of almost 20,000 street trees
- contributed to the development of two new woodlands at Hainault Forest and Enfield Chase in London’s Green Belt.
- given away over 150,000 free trees to Londoners to make their local communities greener, cooler and more pleasant places. Over 100,000 of these free trees have been given away through the Mayor’s partnership with The Conservation Volunteers “I Dig Trees” campaign.
- launched his £3.1m tree-planting programme Trees for London in July 2022 in response to the extreme temperatures and flooding experienced that summer to help cool the city and provide welcome shade.
The Mayor believes access to nature is a matter of social justice and the next generation of young Londoners have a key part to play in improving the environment. His Young Ambassadors Programme supports young people to engage in social action on local issues that they care about in a way that will improve their life chances, and build life-long skills and strong local communities. The programme has so far engaged 2,200 schools, with 460,000 students actively volunteering in their local community.
Today, the Mayor met some Young Ambassadors and pupils at Garratt Park School in south west London to plant an apple tree – the 500,000th tree he has funded since taking office. He was also joined by volunteers from The Conservation Volunteers, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) ambassadors Tayshan Hayden-Smith (TV presenter and social and environmental activist) and Kedar Williams-Stirling (actor, artist and activist known from Netflix series ‘Sex Education’).
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “Every Londoner should have access to trees and green spaces, but many areas of the capital that need the benefits of trees the most, have the fewest.
“That is why I’m investing £500,000 match funding to enable boroughs to plant thousands more street trees which will make a huge difference to local communities.
“Young people have a huge part to play in improving London’s environment, and it’s been great to meet some of my Young Ambassadors today at Garratt Park School. They are the environmentalists of the future, and together we can work to make London a greener, healthier, more liveable city for everyone.”