All the trees that were brought down in the borough by recent storms will be replanted and the damaged wood used, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets has promised.
Storm Eunice battered London and the South East last weekend, with extremely strong winds in excess of 80mph causing significant disruption and damage.
Victoria Park was closed as a precautionary measure for the duration of the storm and the Martyrs' Day event in Altab Ali Park had to be cancelled.
At least 48 of the 25,000 trees the Council manages were brought down across the borough, 10 were on highways and 38 in parks. Several roads were closed due to flying debris and loose roof panels.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:
“We are doing a lot to make Tower Hamlets a cleaner and greener borough – and tree planting is a major part of our work. It’s a shame to lose so many trees to the storm, but we will replace them and make sure the wood is put to good use to improve our greenspaces and provide materials for local young artists.”
Councillor Asma Islam, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, said:
“Tower Hamlets has some fantastic open spaces and we’re proud to have so many trees in our streets and our parks. We’re working hard to introduce more street trees to make our residential neighbourhoods greener and help improve air quality, and I’m delighted that Mayor Biggs has pledged to replant all the trees lost to Storm Eunice.”
All the trees that were lost during Storm Eunice will be replaced as part of the council’s annual tree planting programme, which resumes today (Friday 25 February)
Over the last three years, more than 5,000 have been planted in the borough's streets and parks.
Tower Hamlets is also among the first councils in the UK to join Trees for Streets, a national street tree sponsorship scheme that aims to plant more than 250,000 street trees nationwide over the next 10 years.
The parks’ team will use the wood from the fallen trees as a soil improver and mulch to supress weeds, and to create habitat piles for bugs and wildlife in parks’ woodland areas. Some will also be turned into high-grade chip suitable for smaller biomass boilers and used to generate energy.
It is also available for any local artists or community groups who would like to use it to create benches or sculptures for public benefit.
All the Council’s trees are inspected regularly by a qualified arboriculturalist. High category trees, which include those in falling distance of a highway or play area, are inspected every 18 months. Low category trees are inspected every three years.
Find out more about trees, tree planting and Trees for Streets at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/trees
If you are an artist or community group and are interested in receiving some wood from the fallen trees please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Friday 25th February 2022