A jolly day of tree planting in Jolly’s Green

23 October 2019 1 minute read

Photo: Matthew Smith

Jolly’s Green in Tower Hamlets holds a special place in our hearts - we planted trees here 20 years ago, and this month we went back to plant more! 

With the help of 59 volunteers, we planted 17 cherry and copper beech trees on Saturday 12th of October. For some local volunteers it was extra special. In 1999 they planted trees with us in this park, which has turned into a lovely patch of woodland that acts as a barrier between the busy road and the park. Two decades later they’re getting stuck in again, to help make the park even greener.

“I live in one of the homes near the park. When the Council built new homes on part of Jolly’s Green 30 years ago, the remaining green space was just grass with a small number of old trees. The 1999 planting was designed to cut down traffic noise and pollution from the Blackwall Tunnel Approach. As a piece of woodland it has grown and lasted well. Residents have been supportive of the changes in the park, and people from at least four households joined in the tree planting today, despite the rain. Trees are good to look at, good for wildlife, and good for air quality, which is a big problem in the city.”

Local resident Neville Reid

Photo: Matthew Smith

The 17 trees was joined by five trees planted with corporate volunteer groups and four with local schools in the weeks leading up to the planting day. The new bright and beautiful trees across Jolly’s Green will create habitats for wildlife and add splashes of colour throughout the seasons. The park will benefit greatly from the trees planted, as it’s situated directly next to the heavily polluted A12/Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach.

Local councillor Kahar Chowdhury, who got stuck into the tree planting on the day, said:

“It’s fantastic to see everyone working hard towards making our environment more green, and how spaces like Jolly’s Green can be utilised for the local community. It’s especially important to plant trees here as it’s adjacent to A12 and can help with carbon emissions. I’m really pleased to see so many kids and young people here contributing and understanding the significance of trees and how they will help future generations.”

Local councillor Kahar Chowdhury

Photo: Matthew Smith

Our Urban Forest team had surveyed the soil and environment and identified good places to plant the new trees, and we got valuable input from the local community through consultations. This project served as a great opportunity to engage the local residents, community groups and local schools in order to get them out planting trees and spending more time in their local park. 

“We live in the high rise next to the park, and when we looked out the window the kids went ‘mummy can we go plant a tree, please’. So we put our wellies on and got stuck in! You get a really nice sense of community here and it’s lovely meeting new people. It’s especially nice to see so many kids out today, despite the rain. I used to live in Swansea, close to lovely scenery, so it’s nice to get a bit of nature in the city centre as well.”

Local resident Nasima Moshid

Big thanks to our funders Bloomberg and Greater London Authority.

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