Helping Sutton’s trees to thrive

trees and bird

Published Tuesday, 9th March 2021

Here in Sutton we have one of the highest densities of trees per hectare in London, with more than 190,000 trees in total. 

We’re responsible for 140,000 of them, including the veteran Sweet Chestnuts in Carshalton Park, one of which has been awarded “Great Tree” Status, and the large London Plane in Honeywood Walk, Carshalton, once recorded as the largest Plane tree in England.  

Our trees help to increase biodiversity, providing animals with safe habitats, food, and protection. They also help to tackle climate change by cooling the air in summer, absorbing carbon dioxide and saving energy by creating shade and blocking wind. 

We’re committed to planting at least 2,000 trees a year in Sutton, and we’ve developed a Tree Guide to help developers and residents to plant their trees in the right place at the right time. Ben, a Senior Arboricultural and Woodlands Officer, maintains our trees and helps to plant new ones. 

“It is very satisfying to know you have planted the right tree in the right place for the right reasons,” says Ben.

But maintenance is key. Trees are naturally very robust but they do require a bit of care, particularly in their early years. 

Trees which are looked after by the community stand a better chance of thriving,” says Ben. “We encourage residents to look after new trees and take ownership. This works best when we get support from resident groups.”

We work with Friends Groups, Resident Associations, Local Committees and individuals to plant and maintain trees in public land and parks. 

This is one of hundreds of services we provide in Sutton. But we are facing a big challenge. More than 70% of our budget goes towards caring for Sutton’s vulnerable adults and children. Following COVID-19, more people are needing our help, while the cost of services is increasing.

Find out how we plan to protect those needing our care and support Sutton’s recovery over the next 12 months.

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