Welcome and thank you very much indeed for coming.
As we look down Hallam Street, a vast transformation in the street scene can be seen from what it was only a few weeks ago, brought about by the planting of 40 Chanticleer pear trees. In the course of time, these saplings will develop into magnificent trees, not only enhancing the neighbourhood with resplendent greenery, but also encouraging bird life, improving air quality and providing shade to pedestrians on hot summer days.
This ambitious tree planting project originated in the very heart of the community – residents and businesses – then joined by Westminster Tree Trust – a registered charity run entirely by volunteers – and Westminster City Council, all working in partnership together.
The project would not have been possible without extremely generous donations from the local community, a contribution from the Tree Trust, together with financial support from the City Council.
Very special thanks are due to Mark Gazaleh, a local resident – coordinator of the W1W Tree Planting Initiative, and Kerstin Bowers of Ridgeford Properties, both of whom have provided a huge amount of input towards the project. Also, Ridgeford Properties have kindly given permission for a commemorative plaque to be fixed to their wall, shortly to be unveiled by The Deputy Lord Mayor.
Last, but most certainly not least, this project would not have been possible without the enormous amount of work and expertise by Paul Akers from the City Council Tree Section. Thank you very much indeed Paul, especially for your great enthusiasm and commitment in achieving such an amazing result, which will benefit the local community for many decades to come. It is always a pleasure to work with you.
We are also delighted to have with us Matthew Wright of Channel 5 TV to plant the tree. Thank you very much indeed Matthew for kindly taking time out from your extremely busy schedule.
Thank you also very much indeed, Deputy Lord Mayor for being with us today.
In my view, this is one of the most satisfying projects that Westminster Tree Trust has been involved with since it was founded in 1982.
May I now ask The Deputy Lord Mayor to say a few words?
Julian Maslinski is Chairman of the Westminster Tree Trust
The trust was founded in 1982 as a charity dedicated to improving the environment in Westminster.