The rain clouds left abruptly as we came to conclude our work towards greening in Devonshire Street in Marylebone today. It was a real pleasure to have Kulveer Ranger (Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s Director of Environment and Digital London), Pam Warhurst (Chair of the Forestry Commission) and City of Westminster Councillor Alan Bradley (Trustee Westminster Tree Trust) mark the occasion by planting a chanticleer pear tree – which is one of the 52 new trees that now line Devonshire Street. We are very grateful to St Marylebone School’s Green Club for joining and assisting us in planting the tree.
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s Director of the Environment and Digital London, said: “London’s leafy suburbs and green spaces are the lungs of the capital. They help breath life into our communities, protect the environment and speak to our national yearning for the countryside. Increasing the number of London’s trees is at the heart of the Mayor’s vision to put the village back into the city and help make the capital a greener, better place to live. Initiatives such as W1W tree planting project are key to this drive by working in support of our tree programme RE:LEAF. W1W exemplify how communities can work together to bring lasting positive benefits to an area. I hope that their fine example inspires others to take action.”
Residents from West Marylebone also joined us to celebrate the arrival of new trees on this historic street. Plans have since been announced at the Marylebone Association’s Annual General Meeting about a new tree planting phase (subject to local authority survey and consent) to cover the roads west of the Marylebone High Street. The Initiative has added over 180 trees to the streets of Marylebone streets this spring – and it is set to do even better in the coming year. Detailed work is also ongoing to find suitable locations for trees in East Marylebone and Fitzrovia.
Councillor Alan Bradley added “I am very pleased to see Westminster Tree Trust’s vision of green pedestrian corridors through the whole of Marylebone start to appear as reality. It is especially heartening that the enthusiasm of local businesses and residents has also been reflected in the financial support shown to the project by the neighbourhood.”
The event also marked the launch of the Mayor of London’s RE:LEAF prospectus; a document setting out how London will increase tree canopy cover in the capital. Kulveer Ranger (Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s Director of Environment and Digital London), went on to announce a major boost for tree planting and volunteering in London – urging Londoners to sign up to Team London‘s new tree planting volunteering programme, and to provide 10,000 trees for community groups to create urban orchards, wildlife havens and help beautify London. In partnership with the Woodland Trust, the Mayor is offering 100 free tree packs for community groups to reclaim public spaces such as churches, playgrounds, or patches of unused land by planting 10,500 trees. For more information, please see www.london.gov.uk/releaf-london.
A pleasant and productive reception after the planting was made possible through the generous hospitality of Iberica Restaurant for which the Initiative is most grateful.