Tower Hamlets awarded Tree Cities of the World recognition for the third year in a row

Trees along street in Tower Hamlets

Trees along street in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets has been designated as a ‘Tree City of the World’ for the third year in a row due to the extensive greening work taking place in the borough, particularly tree-planting, which increases local biodiversity and expands and nurtures urban forestry.  

The global programme is run by Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Since being recognised last year, Tower Hamlets Council has planted over 2440 new trees, with over 380 of those being planted on streets, more than 290 trees for housing estates, and over 1,770 trees (including new whips) planted across parks. 

This contributes to the number of trees planted since our initial recognition – in total we have planted over 5500 trees since our first recognition in 2021. 

This has been helped by the £1 million pledge made by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets to plant a minimum of 1,000 new trees over a three-year period. The other trees are funded through a mix of capital and external grant funding, as well as donations by local residents and businesses.  

In addition to the new trees funded by the council, the council is working closely with its partners to deliver community-led tree planting across parks. Trees for Cities, who regularly facilitate tree-planting and tree maintenance events across the borough, have recently hosted several planting events with the help of dedicated volunteers. This has seen 150 new trees planted in Mile End Park, 20 in Victoria Park and 10 in Tredegar Square Gardens. 

Our residents and local businesses have also been getting involved by sponsoring trees around the borough with our partner Trees for Streets. As one of the first councils in the UK to join the innovative tree sponsorship programme in June 2021, residents and businesses have so far sponsored over 200 trees.  

Alongside this recognition, we were shortlisted for Keep Britain Tidy’s Climate Action in Practice Award for our dedication to tree-planting and the impact these trees have on reducing carbon emissions as part of our journey to net zero carbon.  

Lutfur Rahman, Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: 

“It is an honour that our borough has been recognised as a Tree City of the World for the third year in a row and that we have been shortlisted by Keep Britain Tidy for the Climate Action in Practice Award for our dedication to tree-planting. We know that trees have an essential role in our densely populated, urban borough – providing so many benefits for the environment, biodiversity, and of course, the people who live here.  

“The council is currently implementing the £1million fund established for tree-planting. Beginning in 2022, the council has so far planted over 1100 trees and counting.

“As a council, we will continue to find more opportunities to work closely with partner organisations and find additional funding for more trees to be planted. This is an essential part of tackling the climate emergency on a local level and helps to make the borough a beautiful place to live, work, and visit.” 

For more information about trees in Tower Hamlets, visit the website. For more information about tree-planting in Tower Hamlets, please visit our website to view our 2020-2025 Tree Management Plan. 

If local residents or businesses are interested in getting involved and sponsoring tree-planting projects in their local communities, please visit the Tower Hamlets Trees for Streets page.  

Posted on Monday 4th March 2024