Celebrities get behind green initiative in Battersea Park


Presenter Gaby Roslin and Blue Peter’s Chris Collins showed their support for the Tree-Athlon in Battersea Park on Saturday.


By Christian Crowther-Smith 

Presenter Gaby Roslin and Blue Peter’s Chris Collins gave the annual Tree-Athlon, in Battersea Park, celebrity endorsement with their presence on Saturday.

When asked about her reasons for supporting the green initiative the morning radio presenter said: “I think it is a great charity and a great idea for London especially.”  

“London is so green but we need to get more trees. I love the idea of going and planting saplings and getting more trees into the streets,” she added.

It is the seventh year in a row the charity, Trees for Cities, has held its flagship fundraiser in the park which centres around a 5km fun run which aims to raise money to plant trees in areas of cities that need it most.   

Their aim is to raise enough money to be able to plant over 5000 new trees. Every participant also receives their own sapling which they are encouraged to go home and plant.

This year’s Tree-Athlon was given further gloss by British fashion designer Giles Deacon. Mr Deacon showed his support by designing an exclusive, limited edition, T-Shirt given free to all the runners taking part. 

Once the fun run had finished the participants gathered round a stage to hear Ms Roslin question The Blue Peter gardener on how to nurture their young trees.

Mr Collins, who was attending the Tree-Athlon for a fifth successive year, was more than willing to talk about his feelings for the independent charity after the talk had finished.  

“It’s a very progressive charity, a small team and they do exactly what they say on the tin. “I really like that,” he said. 

“I’m 100% behind it – you can never have enough trees.”   

One of the runners, a Wandsworth resident Charles Philpot, said: “I run about five or six times a week and I am quite green so I thought it was a great opportunity to do something good.” 

This year was also the first time the Tree-Athlon has been linked with a European Union backed project, Mettis’age, which aims to get people involved with street art, street performance and contemporary dance. 

Mettis’age is also partnered with UK-based organisation Noise of Art who were responsible for all the other activities going on in the park to support the main events.

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