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Harrow Council partners with national charity to boost tree numbers

Trees for streets

Scheme seeks to increase street trees in the Borough

Harrow Council is among the first UK councils to join the new National Street Tree Sponsorship Scheme, Trees for Streets, which aims to plant thousands of trees in streets across the borough through sponsorship by residents.

Trees for Streets is a project by Trees for Cities, the national urban tree charity, and is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Its goal is to support the planting of more than a quarter of a million street trees nationwide over the next ten years, by supplementing council tree planting budgets.

The scheme provides an online platform to allow anyone wanting to sponsor a street tree in their neighbourhood to make a request to their local council by providing a few simple details.

The council then assesses the chosen location, and if it is suitable, arrangements will be made to plant a tree the following winter, which is the best time to plant young trees to ensure they grow and thrive.

Why are street trees important?

Our urban trees are pretty amazing and the appetite for easily accessible local green space continues to increase.

Street trees bring many benefits:

  • capture carbon dioxide and produce oxygen
  • improve our health and wellbeing – both physically and mentally
  • absorb air pollution
  • improve air quality by acting like natural filters
  • protect us from flooding
  • create shading and cooling – so important in towns and cities
  • make the neighbourhoods where we live that bit nicer

Cllr Varsha Parmar, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said:

“Harrow has plenty of parks and green spaces for the public to enjoy, five of which have been awarded Green Flag status, which puts them among the best green and open spaces in the country. We want to go one step further to green our streets and plant a legacy for the future. That’s what this project is all about.”

Beyond sponsoring a tree, there are lots of other ways for people to get involved.

Once each street tree is planted, it will need watering every week throughout the summer for 3 years to give it the best chance of survival, and any litter or weeds will need removing too, to make sure it thrives.

By donating their time (and water) to care for street trees, they’ll be contributing to a legacy for their community.

Cllr Graham Henson, Leader of Harrow Council, said:

“Trees are so important and as they grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. This project gives the people of Harrow the means to improve their neighbourhoods both for those who live there now, and for generations to come and so it’s yet another reason we can be proud of this borough.”

Simeon Linstead, Project Director of Trees for Streets, said:

“The aim of Trees for Streets is to make it really easy for residents to work with their local councils and make a difference to the world immediately on their doorstep, to facilitate something as simple, but as powerful, as getting a new tree planted in their neighbourhood.”

For more information go to: https://www.treesforstreets.org/

Published: 12th July 2021