A Thousand Community Trees For The UK's Four Capitals

4 March 2024 2 minute read

Tree planting at Trowbridge Primary School in Cardiff

Honouring His Majesty’s Coronation Year, we've just concluded a tree planting tour to green the nation’s capitals. Funded by The Royal Warrant Holders Association, and working with organisations, local communities and schools, these trees will serve current and future generations, bringing vast valuable social benefits whilst enriching biodiversity.

The project began in October 2023 and came to a grand close last week in Edinburgh’s iconic Princes Street Gardens, where a medley of urban “Trees for Food” were planted along an avenue in the popular park. Crab Apple, European Pear, Juneberry and Persian ironwood trees took root, in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council and The Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust. Seven Acre Park and Little France park in the capital also boast new urban woodland.

Alec McQuin, Managing Director at Rokill, Robert Aldridge, The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and from Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust; Charlie Cumming, Chief Executive, and Kate Broughton, Chair, planting fruit trees in Princes Street Gardens

Alongside supporting biodiverse habitats and adding invaluable aesthetic, the trees will simultaneously help clean the air, mask city noise, absorb greenhouse gases, and protect against the urban heat island effect, amongst other benefits. Victoria Park, one London’s most-visited green spaces, is home to new “Trees for Beauty”, as well as Tredegar Square and Devas Street, with the support of Tower Hamlets Council and helping hand of community volunteers. “Trees for Shade” now provide a welcome refuge at Cayley Primary School in Stepney.

One of the points about the programme which has worked well is that you can theme different trees; trees for shade, trees for amenity, trees for food, and so on. Thinking through how we can make a contribution that’s going to last is really important, for every generation, from the youngest school kids right the way through the whole spectrum.

Mark Leishman CVO, Executive Director of The Royal Warrant Holders Association

Tree planting in Victoria Park in East London

At Trowbridge Primary School in Cardiff last November, “Trees for Learning” were planted with the incredible enthusiasm of 30 pupils across year groups, in partnership with Cardiff Council.

We had such a good day. So many children came in and stood near the trees they’d planted, talking about them. They went home excited, talking to their families, who then came in to see the trees. I’m so grateful to be included in projects which are exciting and life changing, instead of driven by data sets and league tables.

Nic Naish, Head Teacher at Trowbridge Primary School in Cardiff

Volunteers planting trees in Demesne Park in Belfast

Other schools which have benefitted from the initiative are Holy Family R.C Primary School in Cardiff where new trees are housed, as well as pupils at Taughmonagh Primary School, who helped plant in Belfast’s Demesne Park last December. This planting helps support Belfast City Council’s 10-year Tree Strategy, launched to provide a resilient and diverse urban forest.

It’s been a real honour to partner with the Royal Warrant Holders Association to deliver this project, planting trees at scale across the UK. With King Charles III’s passion for the environment, it’s a fitting gift to His Majesty and communities nationwide that will benefit generations to come.

Carys Alder, Head of Programme Development at Trees for Cities

This project has been fully funded by The Royal Warrant Holders Association and its member companies. We've been working with local communities, schools and businesses for 30 years to establish more than 1.7 million trees in towns and cities across the UK and around the world.

Find out more about the project.

Donate to Trees for Cities and together we can help cities grow into greener, cleaner and healthier places for people to live and work worldwide.