Today is the first day of one of our favorite times if the year: National Tree Week. As well appreciating our urban trees, and all that they do for us, this week we are also celebrating the people behind the trees; who give their time, money and energy to keeping our cities green. Have you ever wondered where our ancient urban trees even came from? What inspired a generation to take to the streets and plant trees or create beautiful green, public city parks? Who are the people fighting to save our trees today and are we at risk of losing them?
We will be answering all of these questions throughout the week, as we ask people across the UK to stand up and be the generation that plant more trees than we cut down.
Our volunteers make up the latest recruits of a generation of people who are making a difference to the urban environment of the present and future, and we’re calling them Generation Tree.
To kick off the week, we’re out doing what we do best, planting trees with local communities and transforming urban green spaces. Our volunteer and a number of local residents are joining us Loxford Park putting the final touches to a three-week-long rejuvenation project in Redbridge – and by final touches we mean planting trees, shrubs and bulbs in a single day!
Last Saturday, over 40 volunteers came out in force to plant 26 new trees throughout the park and we’ve also been running skills workshops and volunteering days with business and pupils from the local Loxford School. In total, 61 beautiful new and unique trees will be planted in the park.
This work if part of a pioneering new approach to urban greening for us and our local authority partner in Redbridge, and a model we hope to replicate with councils up and down the UK. Click here to read more about our approach.
Why is planting more trees today so important? You may think that when you step outside there are plenty of trees around. The need to plant more can’t be that urgent? Yet we are now at real risk of losing our urban trees from threats such as developers, disease, or simply reaching the end of their natural life cycles. Experts suggest that we may currently be cutting down more trees than we plant over all, and quickly heading towards a state of deforestation in the UK.
On top of this, the loss is happening at a time when we need our trees most. Eight of ten of us now live in an urban environment, our connection with nature is dwindling, our air is getting more toxic and wildlife is being pushed to its limit of existence.