British Queen celebrates


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched the third round of his Grow Back Greener Fund, awarding a further £2 million to community-led tree planting and green space projects across

the capital.

This year the fund aims to increase tree planting in the capital and improve access to high-quality green spaces for Londoners, especially those living in areas most susceptible to the harmful effects of climate change.

Rounds one and two of the fund awarded more than £2m in funding to support London’s communities and grassroots organisations to deliver almost 80 projects, with more than 90 per cent rolled out in London’s most deprived areas and those most exposed to the impacts of climate change. [2] These projects include community gardens, river restoration, new wetlands, greener school playgrounds and housing estates. By November 2022, these projects will have improved almost 30 hectares of green space across the capital and involved more than 7,000 Londoners as volunteers and trainees.

The new funding will support a further 56 community projects to plant more trees for shade, create and improve green spaces and boost London’s climate resilience. This includes the ‘Trees for Cities’ project which this week will see hundreds of volunteers come together for National Tree Week to plant new woodland areas at Philpot’s Farm in Hillingdon. With the Grow Back Greener funding, more than 8000 new trees will be planted here this year by the local community. These projects will plant thousands of trees and create and improve more than 13 hectares of green space with the help of around 14,000 Londoners. Projects will also support apprenticeships and new jobs.

To mark National Tree Week, the Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, met with volunteers giving out 1000 free trees in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers.

Access to green space and nature is not just an environmental issue, but a matter of social justice and health inequality. The Mayor wants all Londoners to live within a 10-minute walk of green space. Funded projects span 27 boroughs, with 50 percent falling within or adjacent to an area identified as having poor access to green space on our London 10-Minute Walk Map, and will benefit more than 22,000 homes in those priority areas. [3]

Free tree planter packs are also available for schools and community groups and more than 10,000 trees have already been sent out to groups this month. Applications are still open for trees to be delivered in February. This is part of the Mayor’s £3.1 million Trees for London programme to plant trees for shade, announced in response to the extreme temperatures experienced across London this summer.

1000 free Rowan trees are also available this National Tree Week for Londoners to collect to plant in gardens and community spaces. They can be collected from The Conservation Volunteers’ nature reserves at Stave Hill (Southwark) and Railway Fields (Haringey).

The UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) 2022 held in Montreal on 7-19 December will bring together governments around the world, marking another important step towards securing measures to protect nature for generations to come.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘The positive impacts of rewilding and green spaces on the environment are significant, which is why I am proud to be awarding a further £2 million to tree planting projects in the capital.


‘The extreme temperatures and devastating fires that raged across our city this summer laid bare London’s vulnerability to the consequences of climate change, proving that we can no longer afford to be indifferent or complacent about this issue. That is why I’m doing all that I can to tackle the ecological problems that we face by investing into vital projects to improve our climate resilience. 


‘My fund prioritises tree-planting projects in areas with low tree canopy cover helping to ensure that more Londoners are within a 10-minute walk of a green space. This in turn will help build a safer, greener, more prosperous city for all.’


Councillor Deirdre Costigan, Ealing Council member for climate action said: “I’m very excited that we’ve secured this funding from the Grow Back Greener Fund to support our plans for a new pocket park in Southall. Taking away hard paving and replacing it with green planting will help create cleaner air, and adding sustainable drainage will support our climate emergency actions by taking water to where it’s needed in the park. This will also be a much-needed cooler space in hot weather and will be a lovely place for residents to sit and enjoy a little bit of nature in the middle of a buzzing town centre.”


Gavin Barlow, Artistic Director & CEO of the Albany: "Located in a built-up and densely populated area of South East London, the Albany Garden provides vital green space for our community. This Grow Back Greener funding will enable us to create much-needed natural shade in the garden through planting trees - this shade will allow us to safely host more arts and gardening activities for local children, young people and community groups outside during the summer months, with harvested apples and plums to be used to create healthy food for our cafe. Many thanks to all at the GLA for supporting this work." 






[3] Data source: Ordnance Survey Address Base Plus, September 2022.


Photo by Nigel Cox / Oxhey Woods: London Loop long distance walk / CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia commons.