Almost 800 trees planted in council pledge to ‘rebuild a greener Hackney’

Phillip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, Councillor Caroline Woodley planting trees at Millfields Park Pic: Hackney Council

A site on Millfields Park, Lower Clapton, formerly used by the National Grid, has undergone a drastic transformation with its return to grassland and the addition of 780 newly planted trees.

The planting has been led by local volunteer group Tree Musketeers, Millfield Users Group and Hackney Council.

Together they have planted a variety of native and non-native trees to promote biodiversity and increase resilience in a changing climate. This new addition to Hackney’s tree population is part of the council’s ambitious borough-wide tree planting programme to help tackle the ongoing climate crisis. This is in accordance with their pledge to ‘rebuild a greener Hackney’ as stated back in 2019.

Councillor Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Families, Early Years, Parks and Play, said: “It is really exciting to plant thousands of trees in our parks and green spaces, working closely with community groups, such as Hackney Tree Musketeers, to deliver this programme, which will increase canopy cover from 20 to 30%.”

The council have committed to planting over 5,000 new street trees and over 30,000 new trees and saplings in Hackney’s parks and open spaces by the end of 2022. This programme is near completion.

So far, they have planted over 12,000 trees in parks and open spaces alongside 2,500 street trees. Planting these trees will benefit the community by improving drainage, reducing air pollution, and providing shade to keep the air cool during the warmer months.

Woodley said: “All our street trees are now planted with root directors to limit the impact of surface roots on surrounding footways, and trees selected are appropriate in size and scale for their location so as to minimise the likelihood of future issues at maturity. Trees and green infrastructure play a hugely important role in filtering polluted air and improving wellbeing, and as such a key part of our public health infrastructure.”

The council has plans to develop additional sites of importance for nature conservation (SINCS) and supplementary habitats to continue developing this project. It will also look at green roofs and potential for park enhancements, our streetscape, housing and education estate opportunities, and extend the ecological footprint of Hackney’s wetlands and waterways by creating complementary habitat in the form of rain gardens and other sustainable drainage features.

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