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a tree in a street

South west London councils win gongs in last month’s Tree Oscars

Croydon and Hammersmith & Fulham councils both won awards at the London Tree and Woodland Awards or the “Tree Oscars” last month awarded by the Forestry Commission.

In Croydon, Spa Wood and the Wildlife Trust won the Community Woodland Award and the council won the London Borough Tree and Woodland Award.

Hammersmith & Fulham were rewarded for a tree planting project on Seagrave Road which won the Trees and Water Award.

Spa Wood and the Wildlife Trust were commended for the Great North Wood project which through lottery funding has been revitalising a forgotten area of woodland which had been neglected.

Along with the Friends of Spa Wood they have been conserving the woodland and making it more appealing to visit.

The paths needed to be cleared and a fairy trail was created, the daughter of one of the friends of Spa Wood would look for fairies in the wood, so a real trail was made.

Croydon Council’s woodland management won for the positive effects its work has had, their team of six is supplemented by a freelance woodland adviser who could help them once a week solely with woodland management.

They have had success using coppicing to rejuvenate areas of woodland, it involves cutting trees right down to their stools, after they resprout and grow they can be harvested and cut down again.

Tree and woodland’s officer Richard Edwards accepted the award by video.

Edwards said: “You feel quite proud when you here people talking about how much they enjoy being in a woodland that I’ve had involvement in managing.

“These woodlands have been so fantastic especially during the Covid lockdown where people were able to come out and enjoy these woodlands and get back to nature.”

The Seagrave Road project in Hammersmith & Fulham involved tree pits which would drain water more effectively and avoid flooding in the area.

The trees are planted underground in plastic containers filled with loose soil and then covered in paving which will easily drain the water into the containers.

The containers will release the water more slowly to prevent flooding during heavy rainfall.

There are currently 16 similar schemes across the borough.

Cllr Wesley Harcourt Hammersmith & Fulham Cabinet Member for Environment said: “Green drainage schemes like Seagrave Road are a vital part of how we future-proof our borough against localised flooding.

“They also provide the opportunity to bring vital greenery to local roads, which help biodiversity as well as making the streets look nicer.”

The “Tree Oscars” are in their 12th year and you can find more information here.

Featured image credit: Hammersmith & Fulham Council

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