4,000th street tree planted in Hackney

Hackney’s 4,000th street tree has been planted in Hackney Downs as part of the Council’s commitment to plant 5,000 new street trees by this year.

Representing one of the largest urban street tree planting programmes in the country, on-street tree canopy coverage is set to increase from 20 to 30%, helping to sequester carbon, filter air, mitigate local flooding by improving drainage, and cool streets during the hot weather that is becoming more prevalent as a result of climate change.

5,000 new street trees are set to be planted in the borough by 2022 which forms part of the Council’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2040 and respond to the Climate Emergency.

There are many benefits for planting urban trees; a mature tree can provide enough oxygen in a year for the needs of 10 people, they help to improve air quality by trapping pollutants and toxic particles, trees absorb harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, they reduce flooding risks, and they create beauty and interest. Research has shown that people recover from illness quicker if they can see trees and have the opportunity to connect with nature in green spaces.

Trees also have more practical uses, providing shelter and shade, slowing down wind speed and reducing air turbulence around buildings, softening the harshness of the urban landscape and improving the appearance of the borough, attracting both commercial and community investment.

Cllr Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Families, Early Years, Parks and Play

Reaching this milestone is so important. Our tree planting programme is one of the largest urban programmes in the country and is just one of the ways we are greening the grey in Hackney for all of our residents.

Our programme began with a sharp focus on areas where there is less green space, so we can help to increase canopy cover, improve biodiversity and create better neighbourhoods. Along with our street tree planting we have also just completed implementing a new rain garden in Stamford Hill, making Windus Road a more pleasant place to walk as it connects up with Windus Walk, a Streets for People project much-loved in the area.

Over in Hackney Downs, as we reach our 4000th tree, we want to mark the moment and recognise the work of our tree officers and the great progress they have made in planting trees, street by street, throughout all of Hackney.

Street trees bring incredible beauty to the borough, with often hidden benefits to our wellbeing and I can’t wait to see the new trees in Hackney in bloom this spring.

Cllr Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Families, Early Years, Parks and Play