Hackney Council gets to work on climate emergency pledges with huge tree planting project

Cllr Jon Burke who is giving away dozens of saplings

Cllr Jon Burke who is giving away dozens of saplings - Credit: Jon Burke

A giant redwood tree near Homerton Hospital will make up one of thousands of seedings Hackney Council hopes will be the biggest tree-planting programme in the UK.

The Labour administration promised 1,000 more trees in its most recent election manifesto but a £4million funding boost will help them go well beyond that.

There will be 5,000 street trees, on top of a four-figure number in parks, delivered by the end of mayor Phil Glanville's term in 2022.

Speaking at a recent council meeting, Mr Glanville said: "I'm really pleased about our ambition for the biggest tree-planting programme in a generation.

"We will see ourselves get to 30 to 40 per cent tree canopy cover in this borough.

"We're not just responding to climate change, we're increasing our biodiversity and making our borough a pleasant place to live. We'll be announcing more of that at the end of November."

One of the 5,000 set to be planted will be a giant sequoia on Murray Grove in Homerton, which the Town Hall hopes will illustrate the potential of nature-based solutions for carbon filtration and atmospheric cooling.

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Environment chief Cllr Burke said: "We are hugely excited. We pledged to deliver 1,000, but we're revisiting all these pledges to make sure they're consistent with the level of ambition expressed in the climate emergency motion.

"We've now secured in the region of £4m to deliver what we believe is the largest municipal street tree and parks tree planting project in the entire country.

"There's an even more exciting announcement to make on less formal planting which will involve not thousands but potentially tens of thousands more specimens in the borough in the life of this mayoral term."

The council will be formally launching the programme with full details over the next couple of weeks.

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