Call To Replace Merton Trees Lost In Storm

Eighty six trees affected in our borough

Local London Assembly Member Richard Tracey is urging Mayor Boris Johnson to prioritise the replanting of Merton's lost public trees through existing tree programmes.

A month on since the St Jude storm, London has lost at least 2,088 public trees, according to figures uncovered by Richard Tracey - 86 of them in Merton.

He said: "Now that the clean-up from the recent storm is underway, one of our priorities should be to help replant the hundreds of lost public trees, especially street trees in the hardest hit areas.

"Some boroughs have lost a substantial amount of trees with many more damaged. I urge the Mayor to do everything he can to support this by working in partnership with volunteer groups, boroughs and other organisations through his successful tree programmes."

A couple of Merton's lost trees are pictured on the right.

  • The Mayor later announced plans to plant thousands of trees on streets and community green spaces at part of National Tree Week.

Nearly £800,000 has been granted to community and borough projects to help local people improve their green spaces and increase canopy cover in the capital.

£690,000 has been granted to 24 borough projects for over 4,000 new street trees across the capital, as part of the second round of the Mayor’s street tree initiative, which has seen 12,000 trees planted on London’s roads and walkways so far. The Mayor is on target to plant 20,000 by March 2015.

A further 21 projects have received a share of a £100,000 pot to continue the successful RE:LEAF community grant scheme, which provides funding to bolster voluntary action and greening by local community groups. London groups put forward proposals to the Mayor to transform local green spaces into oases, orchards and woodlands, with 2,400 trees being planted across the capital this winter.

Additionally, as part of National Tree Week, the Mayor is working with Trees for Cities, the London Wildlife Trust and the Tree Council to plant 12,000 trees with the help of volunteers in locations across the capital, culminating in a community planting day on Saturday 30 November . The mass tree planting will transform ‘green deserts’ into thriving green spaces, biodiverse woodlands and edible hedgerows. The Mayor is calling on Londoners to get involved in the planting, while getting to know their native broadleafs from their black poplars.

Boris Johnson said: "Planting trees in our streets and neighbourhoods helps to make the city a more pleasant place to live, work and invest in. I’m delighted these projects are transforming green spaces and I’d urge everyone to pick up a spade and get involved."

Richard Tracey added: "This announcement is in response to many requests from the public and is very welcome."

November 29, 2013