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Sutton residents in tree planting drive 11.01.11

Hundreds of trees are to be planted in Sutton as residents' actions help to make sure that Sutton remains one of the greenest boroughs in London.

Young tree

Members of the local residents' panel in St Helier, Sutton, appealed to councillors for extra trees to be planted in the nearby Reigate Avenue Recreation Ground. After being granted funding from Sutton Council and the Mayor of London, the park is now set to benefit from 300 new trees, due to be planted by a host of volunteers between 17-23 January.

This follows on from a successful campaign in the Sutton South, Cheam and Belmont area of the borough, in which residents pledged to take care of a sapling and help increase the number of roadside trees.  60 trees have been planted in the area thanks to the scheme.

Cllr Colin Hall, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change on Sutton Council, said: "This is a great example of how local residents can work together to make major changes to their communities. 

"As volunteers have taken responsibility for planting we have been able to buy more saplings, which will benefit the park for years to come at the same time as helping the council's money go further.

"This project will bring so many benefits to residents - as well as looking good, trees help the environment, provide habitat for local wildlife and can even bring health benefits."

Volunteers have come forward from all sections of the community including Glenthorne High School.  Simon Densley, chair of Four Square Panel, the residents' group which first suggested the new trees, said:  "Involving young people in the tree planting scheme will not only be an interesting learning experience for them, but will encourage students to feel a part of their local community and to appreciate and take care of their environment."

The initiative coincides with the launch of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's, Re:Leaf London campaign, which aims to increase tree cover across London from 20% now to 25% by 2025.  The campaign is being launched on Wednesday 12 January with a mass tree planting event in Redbridge.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'Trees are an essential part of our city, helping to improve quality of life, so we are thrilled to be working with Sutton Council on planting even more. This is all part of my new campaign, RE:LEAF London, to encourage individuals, businesses and community groups to get involved in tree planting. This week alone RE:LEAF is helping 20,000 more trees to take root across London, including in Reigate Avenue Recreation Ground.'

To get involved with tree planting in Reigate Avenue Recreation Ground, arrive at the park any day between 17-23 January and follow the signs or speak to a volunteer.

Last updated: Thursday, 20 January 2011

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