Hackney tree carers win London community awards
Hackney Tree People has won the Mayor of London's Community Tree Award for the most successful project inspired, driven and delivered by a local community. Local ecologist Annie Chipchase also won the RE:LEAF Acorn Award for her particular volunteer contribution to London's trees and woodlands.
The Hackney Tree People project was a partnership between the Tree Musketeers and Sustainable Hackney and led by tree expert Russell Miller. Working with park users' groups across the borough, Hackney council's parks department and Abney Park Trust, the project involved a series of 10 free practical workshops in the fundamentals of tree and woodland management. Three hundred local people took part, planting 64 trees in parks, pruning Hackney's new public orchards, and helping to manage Abney Park's veteran trees. The project also engaged the general public through seven guided tree walks.
Hackney leads London in combining professional arboricultural and ecological expertise with dedicated volunteers to deliver expert sustainable urban tree care. Tree Musketeers work in partnership to empower people to take ownership and responsibility for their trees, parks and green spaces.
Annie Chipchase teaches botany and ecology, and runs the community Tree Nursery on Hackney Marshes, which provides most of the trees planted in Hackney's parks.
Tree Musketeers is a voluntary community group that has been running in Hackney for 12 years. It has planted and cared for hundreds of trees in parks, including Stoke Newington Common, Springfield Park and Hackney Downs, as well as planting 20 public orchards. In partnership with Hackney Marshes Tree Nursery, the group grows the new trees that are planted in the borough's parks.
The annual RE:LEAF awards, celebrating the work of individuals, businesses, communities and professionals to enhance London's urban forest and inspire others, are organised by the Forestry Commission and Mayor of London.
In making the award to Hackney Tree People the judges said:
"for a long term project that has engaged numerous partnerships and communities in the planting and management of Hackney’s trees. The professional implementation of the project and innovative approaches such as the Tree Calendar were particularly noted."