The Forestry Commission's London Office is currently working on the following projects and intiatives:
The Big Tree Plant
The Big Tree Plant is a campaign to encourage people and communities to plant more trees in England's towns, cities and neighbourhoods. It is a partnership bringing together national tree-planting organisations and local groups working with Defra and the Forestry Commission to plant trees throughout England.
Anybody can get involved by planting and caring for trees to help make neighbourhoods more attractive, healthy places to live.
The RELEAF Community Grant Scheme
The Forestry Commission and the Mayor of London are are working together with partners to improve the trees and woodlands of London as part of the RE:LEAF initiative.
The RELEAF Community Grant Scheme provides grants to projects that deliver community benefits to schools, open spaces and woodlands in Greater London.
The scheme is facilitated by the Forestry Commission on behalf of The Mayor of London and administered by Groundwork London.
The Mayor's Street Tree Initiative
The Mayor of London has completed his pledge to plant an additional 10,000 trees as part of his goal to make London a greener city. This has provided 10,000 new street trees in 40 Priority Areas across London. The last tree was planted in march 2012.
Since the scheme started in 2008 just over 10,000 street trees have been planted in twenty eight London boroughs.
The Mayor pledged these additional 10,000 street trees to make the capital greener and to improve Londoners' quality of life. Londoners say that improvements to their local environment help to make their communities better places to live, and these trees are being planted by boroughs, community groups and charities who applied for funds from the Mayor's first street tree programme.
The last batch of 600 trees was planted between November 2011 and March 2012, using financial grants offered to organisations to plant trees across London.
So far across London the following boroughs have received funds from the Mayor's programme to plant trees in their priority areas:
Brent, Bexley, Barnet, Barking and Dagenham, Bromley, Camden, Enfield, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow, Haringey, Havering, Islington, Kingston, Lewisham, Lambeth, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth , Westminster.
The Mayor, Boris Johnson, said: 'Trees are wonderful additions to our communities helping to make neighbourhoods more pleasant. I am thrilled with the success of this programme in planting these trees in the areas that will benefit most.
As part of the Mayor's continuing committment to London's environment he has now pledged to plant a further 10,000 new trees across London by 2015. The Forestry Commission and the Mayor of London have opened this exciting new initiative which will see trees planted across the whole of the Greater London area.
The i-Tree Eco London Project
The Forestry Commission together with The Greater London Authority, The London Tree Officers Association, The Tree Council, Trees for Cities and the London boroughs are working in a partnership to undertake an i-Tree Eco survey of London's tree and woodland canopy cover.
This project will, for the first time, provide a comprehensive set of ecosystem service valuations for the benefits that London's trees and woodlands bring to the captial's residents, businesses and visitors
Initial preparation is underway and it is anticipated that the project survey work will be be completed by the end of summer 2013.
The RE:LEAF Volunteer Programme
Through his Team London initiative the Mayor of London wants to make volunteering in our city easier to do.
The RE:LEAF Volunteer Programme will fund large-scale initiatives that use volunteers to make a significant impact on increasing London’s tree cover through planting, promotion and maintenance. Volunteering activities will bring local environmental improvements and encourage community participation.
The RE:LEAF London Tree and Woodland Awards
The RELEAF London Tree and Woodland Awards 2013 were held on the 15th May in The London Living Room at City Hall. The Awards are part of the RE:LEAF Initiative and are held annually for recognising excellence in the field of trees and woodlands in London. There are seven award categories in total, all covering a range of projects and participants from Street Trees, public bodies to Friends or Community Groups as well as Trees and learning, urban forestry and also for individual commitment and achievement.
A Tree and Woodland Spatial Framework
Working with partners to produce the Tree and Woodland Spatial Framework that can be used as an on-line tool for directing resources, tree planting and improved woodland management in those areas of London where these will bring the greatest benefits to disadvantaged communities
Working with partners to encourage the concept and delivery of woodfuel from the arisings of urban tree management and improved woodland management in London. Notably, through a European Union bid (Interreg).
The production of best practice management guidelines under the Capital Woodlands Project to assist woodland owners in London to improve biodiversity and woodland management generally. The management guidelines currently available cover Bats, Woodland Management, Wood Fuel, the Social Dynamics of London's Woodlands, Woodland Archaeology in London.
If you would copies of these guidelines please follow this link: http://www.22design.co.uk/forestry/
Encouraging woodland owners in London to certificate the management of their woodlands. Two London boroughs are now certified, Croydon and Bromley as well as The Royal Parks.
Under the Capital Woodlands Project the Forestry Commission organised a woodland Conference held on the 1st of December 2008 at City Hall to highlight the importance of London's woodlands and achieve the redirection of resources into their management that is required to maximise their potential and secure their future for all Londoners.
The afternoon sessions of the conference involved workshops looking at some of the issues surrounding the management of London's Woodlands.
The workshop topics were:
1. Enhancing Biodiversity
2. Woodlands and Healthy Living
3. Climate Adaptation
4. Urban Tree Strategies
Comprehensive Tree and Woodland Strategy Guidance ha been produced for the London Boroughs aimed at encouraging those local authorities without Tree and Woodland Strategies to produce one. The draft document has been Peer reviewed and is now available.
If you have any comments please send them to Jim Smith the Forestry Commission's Urban Forestry Adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Large Landscape Trees in Development
The Forestry Commission has assisted CIRIA (the Construction Industry Research and Information Association) to work with other partners in producing new guidance on integrating large landscape trees into new development as part of their "Building Greener" initiative.
This guidance titled "The benefits of large species trees in urban landscapes: a costing, design and management guide" was published by CIRIA in March 2012 and is avaialble from the CIRIA bookshop at www.ciria.org
Trees and Design Action Group
The Forestry Commission's London Office is a principal partner in the Trees and Design Action Group, a group of individuals and organisations covering tree interests, developers, architects, designers and built environment professionals. It has produced a 10 point action plan to improve the lot of trees in the built environment. It has produced guidelines for maximising the potential for large landscape trees on development sites and on tree valuation.
Its latest publication is "Trees in the Townscape" offers 12 principles of best practice for all thoise involved in local decision making to ensure that towns and cities are underpinned by a 21st century approach to urban trees.
View the TDAG Homepage and download a PDF copy of the guidelines
Joint Mitigation Protocol.
Facilitated the production of the Joint Mitigation Protocol (JMP). This is an agreed method of subsidence claims management where trees are implicated as being the cause of building movement. It seeks to establish best practice in the processing and investigation of tree root induced building damage, benchmarking time scales for responses and standards of evidence. It has taken three years of negotiation and effort to reach the point of publication, due on the 16th of May 2008. During the course of negotiations the Protocol Group has included and benefited from the input of insurers, local authority tree and risk managers, loss adjusters, engineers and arboricultural consultants. Its principal aims are to speed up the process of claims handling, decision making and mitigation implementation leading to resolution, while at the same time recognising the value of trees in the built environment and providing local authorities with all the investigative evidence required at the beginning of the process. A timely decision may then be made on what course of action is appropriate in respect of the tree. It represents a considerable achievement, as for the first time, building insurers and their agents have agreed that remedial pruning may be considered as an option rather than always asking for tree removal.
It is hoped that adoption of the Joint Mitigation Protocol by individual local authorities and insurers alike as an agreed and mutually beneficial process will foster co-operation and partnership working between the two sectors. Trees that should be retained will be and claims will be processed quickly so resident’s properties are repaired without unnecessary delay.
A register of signatories to the JMP is currently being produced and will be held centrally on the London Tree Officers Association website
If you are a local authority, insurer, loss adjuster, arboricultural consultant or a company working within the field of building subsidence and wish to follow the principles laid out in the Protocol please send your completed Register form to The London Tree Officers Association so that your commitment to follow the JMP can be recorded and disseminated to other like-minded organisations.
The Forestry Commission's London region has been assisting the London Tree Officer's Association in developing the tree valuation system CAVAT (Capital Asset Valuation of Amenity Trees). The system's full method is being used to value trees in respect of insurance claims and is the preferred method for the Joint Mitigation Protocol. CAVAT's quick method of valuation is also being used by London boroughs as an effective management tool in assisting the redirection of resources
Assisting the Mayor of London in the Right Trees for a Changing Climate Project. Managing the Right Trees website www.right-trees.org.uk which provides a database of trees to assist land management professionals in making the right tree species choices so that London is made more resilient in the face of climate change.