We were most fortunate in having Professor Lord Winston, the eminent scientist and broadcaster, to plant the last of 49 chanticleer pear trees on New Cavendish Street today. In celebration of the event, The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Susie Burbridge, also unveiled a commemorative plaque. The W1W Tree Planting Initiative has planted over 180 trees in eastern Marylebone in the last year.
New Cavendish Street is a very busy inner London street which suffers from excessive traffic travelling through the neighbourhood. It is hoped that the scheme will help reduce pollution in the immediate area, where there are many hospitals and medical consulting rooms – new trees will absorb some of the local traffic noise and make the area more attractive.
The project is a joint initiative by Westminster City Council, Westminster Tree Trust and the W1W Tree Planting Initiative, a local community organisation – residents, residents’ associations, businesses and other commercial organisations – that relies on volunteers to raise funds for the trees and planting work. Julian Maslinski, Chairman of Westminster Tree Trust, made an address to the large gathering of well wishers. A copy of his speech may be found through this link.
Lord Winston said: “I’m delighted to show my support for this scheme and plant this chanticleer pear tree to mark a new beginning for the area. Trees provide an integral source of life to every community and I hope that these trees will enhance the happiness and well-being of everyone who lives here.”
The initiative has planted 250 new trees as part of this phase of the project. It is hoped to increase this number to 500, ahead of the 2012 Olympics Games. There are also plans to expand the area of tree planting into West Marylebone and Fitzrovia.
The event also marked the successful conclusion of efforts by local school children to sponsor the planting of their own neighbourhood tree. Members of the International Community School’s Eco-Team presented a cheque of £300 to Julian Maslinski, Chairman of Westminster Tree Trust. The funds had been raised over the last year in various school events and activities.
Dr Caroline Fowler, Field Studies Manager at International Community School noted, that “raising money for Westminster Tree Trust has been a very exciting project for the students in our Eco-Team. They have visited classes to teach other students why planting trees are important and older students have also used their maths skills to age trees in Regent’s Park. It was a fantastic way for students to learn more about the environment and raise money to help their local community.”