“He is more used to war zones than green zones, but BBC’s John Simpson CBE did his bit for the ‘greening of Marylebone’ when he shovelled soil to plant the 500th tree outside BBC Broadcasting House as part of a three-year street tree project for Marylebone and Fitzrovia.
The world affairs editor was joined by his family, pupils from St Vincent’s Primary School and the newly elected Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Angela Harvey at an event organised by the W1W Tree Planting Initiative, a scheme run by residents, businesses, the Westminster Tree Trust and Westminster City Council.
Speaking at the event, the 67-year-old BBC world affairs editor said: “In my daily work I see a lot of destruction and cruelty and stupidity – a lot of the destroying of good things of the earth. To play a part in planting something like this is absolutely marvellous.”
This marked a landmark moment for the four-year W1W Tree Planting Initiative, a partnership between residents, businesses, Westminster Tree Trust and Westminster City Council, to improve the borough streets. The project received match funding from the Trust and Council with £80,000 being donated by local residents, businesses and organisations.
In her first official engagement as Lord Mayor Councillor Angela Harvey, a former Chairman of the Go Green Task Force at Westminster City Council, remarked on the achievement of getting the 500 trees planted in Marylebone prior to the Olympics — just as locals had originally hoped. Moy Scott, Vice Chair of Westminster Tree Trust, who spoke to the gathering, mentioned how pleased the Trust was with this result. The text of Moy’s speech may be accessed here.