2017 National Tree Week Project
Tree Warden Jenny Fornasier volunteered to oversee our 2017 Wandsworth Tree Warden project to celebrate National Tree Week. Jenny approached several local schools and two got involved in her eco/tree education project; Earlsfield Primary and Sherringdale. Trees were provided for planting and to highlight the importance of greening the environment. Each school had an eco-team or green-team and the children gave presentations on the planting and benefits of trees. It was very cold on the planting days which were scheduled for 1st December (although one school had organised a picnic). The events were advertised in Brightside and the Enable newsletter
Introduced in 2006, i-Tree (www.itreetools.org) is a state of the art, peer-reviewed software suite from the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, which provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. i-Tree is now regarded as the gold standard for tree evaluation.
The results of the I-Tree project were published in the USA in December 2015. Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/london-
London i-Tree project
The London i-Tree project was mainly delivered by volunteers, unlike the American surveys which are 100% delivered by paid workers. Initially the London i-Tree project attracted 60 volunteers. However, using social media this number increased to 300 volunteers in one month. The Forestry Commission and the GLA donated £15k each towards the project. The project was delivered in 2014 using 250 volunteers, with support from professionals, to survey 725 plots. Some of the volunteers were our own Wandsworth Tree Wardens.
The project is almost complete with only a few plots still to be surveyed after which the results will be analysed in the USA and the results will be made publically available.
Fruit trees in schools project
Tree Wardens are encouraged to set up and/or take part in events and projects in their local community which promote the benefit of trees in the urban environment.
Tree Warden Gwen Rosen’s project to campaign for ‘Fruit Trees in Schools’ is a great example of an imaginative community project and her work was commended by the Forestry Commission at the 2013 RE:LEAF Awards.
Gwen was successful in getting local schools Altons, Sherringdale and Greenmead (Putney), Christchurch and Falconbrook (Battersea), Ravenstone (Balham), Graveney, St Boniface and St Anselms (Tooting), all in the borough of Wandsworth, to plant and nurture a variety of fruit trees including peach, cherry, kiwi, apricot, plum and nectarine.
National Tree Week
In celebration of National Tree Week, the Wandsworth Tree Wardens donated an English Oak to be planted on Wandsworth Common. Cllr Sarah McDermott planted the tree at a small ceremony on the common on 28 October.
Tree planting on behalf of the Putney Society
Councillor Jim Madden led the tree planting ceremony in Wandsworth Park on 13 January, assisted by John Horrocks (Putney Society) and Pat Gross (Friends of Wandsworth Park). The Putney Society provided a Catalpa (Indian bean tree) to be planted at the eastern end of Wandsworth Park.
150th anniversary of Wandsworth Common
Congratulations to the Friends of Wandsworth Common (FoWC) who marked the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Wandsworth Common act in July 2021 by launching a tree planting appeal which raised over £12,000. These funds were put towards three projects:
Planting additional trees
A total of 80 conventional, seven-year old saplings, all native species, have been planted on the Common over the past two years, with much valued support from Enable.
A Mini Forest
The planting of a mini forest. This was based on a Japanese concept – miyawaki, which consisted not only of freestanding trees (in this case four disease resistant elms) but also an understory of shrubs and wildflowers to encourage biodiversity. Advised by Enable, FoWC agreed this was as good, if not a better way to promote biodiversity than planting individual trees. The site, on the eastern side of the Common, extends and joins up existing areas of woodland to maximise the biodiversity impact.
To encourage biodiversity and act as an antipollution screen from road traffic, over 1,800 whips were planted in three areas of the Common in March 2022. This project, promoted and organised by the Wandsworth Common Management Advisory Committee (the MAC) with help from Enable and volunteers from FoWC, involved planting hedges and shrubbery using several different native species, including gorse, which once grew extensively on the Common, holly, buckthorn, guelda rose, hawthorn, spindleberry and dog rose. The main sites for these whips are the St Marks triangle in the north east, the corner of Trinity and Bellevue roads in the southwest and the newly rewilded area next to the playground near the Skylark café.
Altogether, an amazing achievement!