Further to our earlier story, Norwood residents can expect to see greener streets and public spaces following the launch of Lambeth Council’s Urban Forest strategy. But, as one of Lambeth’s leafiest areas, we will not be at the front of the queue for tree-planting.
The council aims to plant 5,000 more trees in the next four years. And the priority will be to increase the number of trees in the most densely built-up areas of the borough where canopy coverage is well below the London or borough average.
The 50-page strategy report contains an interesting analysis of tree cover around the borough and shows West Dulwich is top of the table with 24.2% of its land area covered by tree canopy. Gipsy Hill also emerges as a very leafy area (21%), followed by St. Martin's (18.53%) and Knight’s Hill (16.58%) a fraction below the borough average of 17%. Not surprisingly, Waterloo, Vauxhall and parts of Brixton are well below average with only 11% or so tree cover.
The Urban Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committee’s recommendation is that 20% of the land area should be covered by tree canopy.
The report (see here (item 5 on the Cabinet agenda (6 November 2023)) was launched with an open-air gathering on Rush Common, Brixton Hill, attended by community groups including Norwood Forum. Councillor Rezina Chowdhury, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, spoke about more tree planting being needed to combat climate change and improve air quality as well as contributing to better mental health.
The launch was followed by a walk around Rush Common hearing about its trees, most of which have been labelled – an interesting idea perhaps for trees in our own neck of the woods?