Tree and woodland awards honour preservation

TV personality Clive Anderson praised a host of community groups for smart-thinking tree initiatives this week.

The first annual London Tree and Woodland Awards marked the end of a three-year biodiversity project funded with £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project has supported 117 woodlands, 32 trainees, 1,300 woodland volunteers, over 5,000 schoolchildren and 50 community groups. A representative said: "The awards recognise the remarkable and often unrecognised contributions made to preserve and enhance trees and woodlands in London."

Categories included excellence in tree work, won by the Tree Musketeers in Hackney. The 500-strong network offers tours and replanted Stoke Newington Common. The most successful community tree project was an allotment plot taken over by Croydon Tree Nursery, a volunteer group, which planted trees.

Best project at connecting schools with trees was one by Emerson Park School, Havering. Pupils and staff planted copses and hedges to make kid take pride in their grounds.

Most innovative community project was created by Addington Conservation Team, which reclaimed fly-tip hit Birch and Rowdown Woods, Croydon.

Barry Baker, won the trainee commitment and achievement award, after joining a woodlands training course through referral from aftercare services in Lambeth.

"He endured a tough path with many setbacks, but has proved himself capable and motivated, with the aptitude and attitude to succeed in a woodland environment."

The initiative was a joint effort between the HLF, Forestry Commission, Trees For Cities charity and The Mayor of London. Visit www.capitalwoodlands.org/news.


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