Tree Planting Initiative for Marylebone – Project Summary

The objective of the W1W Tree Planting Initiative is to line the main streets of Marylebone with trees. The initiative has proven extremely successful thanks to a strong partnership between the local community – residents and businesses, Westminster Tree Trust and Westminster City Council.   The project planted its first 40 trees on Hallam Street in 2009.  It has since grown with 12 subsequent phases to include a further 34 streets in East and West Marylebone with an aim to add at least 500 trees to the neighbourhood by 2012.   By Spring 2012,  over 600 trees have been planted on our central London streets.

We are delighted to announce that we have surpassed our original goal of planting 500 new trees in Marylebone.  The support and financial contributions we received from all sides to reach our goal have been nothing short of phenomenal.  The funding for the trees was made possible through a match funding scheme with community donations being matched by Westminster Tree Trust and Westminster City Council.  So far over £80,000 has been donated by the local community.

Barbara Windsor and Queen College Preparatory School plant the last new tree planting. on Weymouth St

In June 2011, inspired by the forest of trees being planted on the eastern side of Marylebone High Street, a group of locals decided to form the West Marylebone Tree Initiative which would encourage tree planting to the west of the High Street.  A major effort was also launched in September 2011 to plant trees on ten East Marylebone and Fitzrovia streets in the 2011-12 planting season.

John Simpson Plants the 500the Tree

John Simpson of the BBC and St Vincents School’s Green Team plant our 500th Tree

We have enjoyed a number of community celebrations to mark our progress.  Matthew Wright of Channel 5 TV and the BBC planted the last of 40 our trees on Hallam Street in June 2009.  In November 2010, Barbara Windsor, actress and Marylebone local, planted the last of 53 new pear trees in Weymouth Street.   In April 2011, Alan Titchmarsh, celebrity broadcaster and gardening expert, planted an elm tree to mark the arrival of 48 new trees in Bolsover Street.  And in July 2011, Professor Lord Winston, the eminent scientist and fertility expert, planted the last of 49 chanticleer pear trees on New Cavendish Street.  John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs Editor, planted our 500th tree outside Broadcasting House on 17 May 2012.   Forestry Minister David Heath MP planted our 600th tree near Oxford Street almost a year later in May 2013.

Bolsover Street Made Green with Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh helps elm trees arrive on Bolsover Street

The Initiative has benefitted from support from all sides of the community.  We are especially grateful for the generosity of The Princess Grace Hospital and The Harley Street Clinic, The Portland Hospital, Groundwork London (Forestry Commission), The Howard de Walden Estate, The Portland Estate, Ridgeford Properties and The Langham London.  The Weymouth Street phase was also made possible by a generous contribution from Groundwork London through the Forestry Commission’s London Tree and Woodland Grant Scheme and Big Tree Plant.  Furthermore, the Initiative was included in the local charity programmes of Sainsbury’s (Great Portland Street) and Waitrose (Marylebone High Street).  The Initiative is especially grateful for the support of Westminster City Council without whom little progress would have been possible.

Motivation for the Initiative is varied and includes the following:

  • improve the quality of life for those living and working in Marylebone
  • provide a visually calming element to an increasingly busy and congested urban environment
  • make the area one of the ‘greenest’ in Westminster
  • encourage walking through our neighbourhood by creating new green pedestrian corridors
  • improve the attractiveness and uniqueness of the area

The arrival of these new trees for Eastern Marylebone marks the first extensive return of trees to the area since these streets were first laid out in the mid 1700’s.  We are also grateful for the enthusiastic support we have received from the members of the Marylebone Association at the organisation’s recent Annual General Meeting.

Great Portland Street Planting

Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; assisted by Tim Rollinson, Director General, Forestry Commission; Alisdair Douglas, Chair of the Board, The Tree Council; Mark Field MP, Cities of London & Westminster; and Julian Maslinski, Chairman, Westminster Tree Trust plant the first new trees on Great Portland Street in November 2009

Our November 2009 ceremonial planting on Great Portland Street coincided with the launch of the UK’s 35th National Tree Week.  To mark the occasion, a celebratory tree was planted on the street by The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; assisted by Tim Rollinson, Director General, Forestry CommissionAlisdair Douglas, Chair of the Board, The Tree Council; Mark Field MP, Cities of London & Westminster; and Julian Maslinski, Chairman, Westminster Tree Trust.

The Initiative has contributed to the following Marylebone and Fitzrovia streets:

Devonshire Street pears 52 2011
Carburton Street birch 14 2012
Great Titchfield Street birch 23 2012
Great Titchfield Street elm 7 2012
Clipstone Street birch 12 2012
Cleveland Street birch 3 2012
Bolsover Street birch 43 2011
New Cavendish Street pear 48 2011
Beamont Street Amelanchier 14 2012
Westmoreland Street Amelanchier 12 2012
Great Portland Street Pear 27 2011
Weymouth Street pear 54 2010
Riding House Street pear 3 2012
Berners Street birch 32 2012
Eastcastle Street pear 16 2013
Langham Street pear 10 2012-3
Gildea Street pear 4 2012
Hallam Street pear 43 2009
Duchess Street pear 10 2012
Mansfield Street elm 4 2012
Chandos Place birch 4 2012
Queen Anne Street birch 14 2012
Welbeck Street pear 10 2012
Marylebone Street tbc 0
Newman Street tbc 0
Wigmore Street pear 5 2012
York Street birch 6 2013
Gloucester Place pear 10 2012
Crawford Street olive 19 2012
Crawford Street birch 19 2012
Seymour Place Gingko 33 2012
George Street elm 28 2013
Brown Street Amelanchier 12 2013
Nutford Place Amelanchier 4 2013
Nutford Place pear 4 2013
Old Quebec Street Koeruteria 1 2013
Seymour Street elm 11 2012
Bryanston Street elm 5 2013
Dorset Street birch 5 2013
Total  621

Considerable efforts has been made to extend the benefit of the tree lines into the streets of West Marylebone, East Marylebone and Fitzrovia.  This effort was underpinned by the Fitzrovia and East Marylebone Forest concept document published by ARUP.  The document seeks to identify a number of townscape and public realm interventions and to encourage local residents, businesses and organizations to support the implementation of these interventions.  We are most grateful for all the effort put into creating this advocacy document to improve our neighbourhood.

Hallam Street Trees in 2009

The trees on Hallam Street were some of the  first added by the Initiative (2009)

Finally, we would like to personally thank every volunteer who supported our activities and helped us collect contributions for our trees during the many phases of the Initiative.  Without your help we would not have been able to deliver these wonderful results.

All tree planting is subject to local authority survey and consent.

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