During National Tree Week, we were very proud to win two awards at the London Tree and Woodland Awards, which are affectionately known as the Tree Oscars!
For our corporate volunteering partnership in Spider Park Ruislip with our long-standing partners NatWest, we won The Trees and Business Award, which focuses on a tree planting and management project led by significant business involvement.
TCV’s James Squires, Holly Webber and Richard Evans were joined by Sam Tracey from NatWest on stage to receive the award from Sir William Worsley – Chair of the Forestry Commission and England’s National Tree Champion.
It was heartening to know our commitment to the aftercare and maintenance of trees, including returning in the summer to weed and mulch, was highly valued by the judges. We now continue to plan management sessions for the new woodland as part of our ongoing employee engagement programme.
Joe Coles, TCV Tree Programme Manager said: “A great way to celebrate National Tree Week with recognition of our amazing partners at NatWest, planting and caring for thousands of trees in London and across the UK as part of the NatWest Forest. This partnership recognises the need to create and maintain habitats and greenspaces. We don’t just plant trees, we grow them #GrowaTree”
TCV’s team in Haringey also won the Community Woodland Award for Ancient Woodland Restoration, in partnership with Haringey Council, and the 3 Friends Groups for each ancient woodland: Bluebell Wood, Coldfall Wood, and Queens Wood. TCV’s Cassandra Li and Mat Pendergast received their wooden bowl award, carved from a rare native black poplar, on stage.
Some of the ancient woodlands date to around 1600 and cover hectares of land in the centre of London. The Covid-19 lockdown saw a huge increase in the use of the Woods by families, dogs, mountain bikers all desperate to find green spaces to unwind and exercise in. The result has been a quite shocking amount of damage to the paths, undergrowth and saplings plus serious compaction of the soil, and flooding and drainage issues that have eroded the topsoil.
The partnership project promotes community participation along with a range of volunteering opportunities to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife, climate change and wellbeing to increase access to the natural environment that involve the local community. We are also collecting survey information on the condition and quality of wildlife habitats to understand how best to manage the woodlands – ensuring biodiversity enhancement work to raise the quality and standards needed to protect the Woodlands from ecological degradation, whilst retaining a community ownership.
The awards were a fantastic event, held by Greater London Authority and Forestry Commission at London City Hall. Deputy Mayor Shirley Rodriguez opened the event noting how they’ve planted over 100,000 trees with TCV – another moment for us to feel proud of our achievements for the environment and local community green spaces.
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