Our Newsletter - December 2020
Saved! The Triangle Garden on Long Lane and its Japanese Pagoda trees (Ada Salter's famous Trees of Heaven in the background)
Since starting out in Summer 2019, we’ve been working hard to protect, replace and increase trees and tree canopy and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are still here! Our green spaces, trees, plants and the wildlife they support have never felt so precious, and the pandemic has served to underline how our own physical and mental well-being are dependent on them.
The pandemic has also highlighted the effects of rapid climate change and the urgent need to act to combat its effects. The protection of our existing trees and green space, creating new places for nature to thrive and planting thousands more trees are key.
Slowly but surely we are making ourselves heard. Here are a few things we’ve been doing.
We stopped the council’s contractors from re-pollarding trees during nesting season, ensuring that in future, trees would only be re-pollarded in the dormant season between November and March.
Trees for Bermondsey committee member, Robert Hutchinson, led a successful campaign to save the Triangle Garden on Long Lane which had been earmarked for a private development. Three unusual and beautiful Japanese Pagoda (Styphnolobium japonicum) trees are safe and the Triangle will become a proper community garden to be used and loved by all.
Read about TfB co-founder, Andy Readman’s successful campaign to replace the silver birches which had been removed on Blue Anchor Lane in the “Progress” section of the website.
We have campaigned relentlessly to replace trees removed from our streets, estates and parks and we asked you to tell us where trees needed replacing in Bermondsey. We submitted a list of 62 requests to the council’s tree section and forty of these will be fulfilled in the current planting season. Others should be fulfilled next year after discussions with residents’ groups and alterations to the highway such as pavement build-outs. We are waiting for the tree officers to give full details of the exact trees to be planted this year and will let you know as soon as we have the information. We expect to see around 100 trees planted this season.
Thanks to a CGS grant, the hedge around the playground in Shuttleworth Park has been patched with beech saplings and a gap in the native species hedge has been filled, which should attract more birds and wildlife. Move over feral pigeons!
In order to increase tree canopy and combat the effects of climate change, thousands of new trees must be planted on our streets, estates and open spaces. Southwark’s Tree Section asked for our help to find places to plant them. We suggested an interactive map that residents, schools and businesses could use to pinpoint places where trees and hedges are needed, so in 2021 a new Commonplace map will be launched by the council where you will be able to request a new tree or hedge near your home, school or work. This may be a place where trees have never been planted before or even to replace ugly bollards or barriers or close off a rat-run.
Since November 2019, the hedge of 250 whips (tiny trees!) which we planted in Shuttleworth Park with our friends from Galleywall Nature Reserve has shot up. Among the native species we planted were hazel, dogwood, holly and hawthorn which have now been added to thanks to a CGS grant to include other species such as hornbeam and field maple.
On 5th and 6th December thanks to the Woodland Trust we will be planting a new hedge of 420 native species trees in Spa Gardens to attract birds and wildlife to the park. Unfortunately, Covid 19 restrictions mean that we have had to limit numbers but if you are interested in helping out, email us at email@example.com as we have a few slots left.
Trees for Bermondsey has applied to the Charity Commission to become a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) which means that if our application is accepted, we’ll have charitable status and more opportunities for raising funds and working with other groups and organisations.
We are working with others on ideas for projects such as community orchards, street gardens and green corridors. Working with the council, planners and developers to protect and care for our existing tree canopy and green space is vital as well as finding ways to make room for much, much more.
If you’d like to get involved with TfB or have ideas and projects for trees or anything to make Bermondsey greener and healthier, or if you have expertise in any area that could help us move our mission forward, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you whether you are an individual, a community group, TRA, a school, business or potential sponsor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trees for Bermondsey