Yes, I do love London town. As I was born, bred and educated in London, there could be a suggestion of bias but to me London has a fantastic mix of green, blue and grey space. Towards the centre of our great capital the grey does begin to dominate, which is why the Trust has produced guidance on how to introduce a little more green.
Woodland isn’t all about the rural landscape. The Trust is an active member of London’s ReLEAF partnership, which aims to increase London’s canopy cover by 5% by 2025. Through funding from the Greater London Authority the Trust provided free tree packs for London’s schools and community groups.
So, what are the candidates in the Mayoral elections (voting day is 3rd May) offering? I was pleased to represent the Woodland Trust in February at a ceremony to celebrate the planting of the current Mayor of London’s 10,000th street tree. During the ceremony, Mayor Johnson announced his next target – 400,000 new trees over the next four years. Of course the devil will be in the detail, like how much resource for this will come from City Hall, or will charities like the Woodland Trust be expected to deliver this target?
The previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, produced the London Tree and Woodland Framework, and set up the Right Trees for a Changing Climate website. I’ve not yet picked up on announcements about trees or wildlife in his manifesto for the 2012 elections, or from the other candidates who’ve declared their intention to stand.
However with your help we can soon change that!
The final list of Mayoral candidates has now been published, and we’ve made it easy for you to ask them what they are offering on tree protection, tree planting and encouraging visits to London’s fantastic woods and treed spaces. Just fill in your details here, select which of our questions you want to ask, add any of your own, and then send to all the candidates.
Keep an eye open for the Evening Standard debate too, which will be hosted by former barrister (and Woodland Trust President), Clive Anderson, and streamed live on the evening of the 11th April.
Richard Barnes, conservation adviser (& Londoner…)