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Volunteers turn up in rain to plant trees to make East End woodland

PUBLISHED: 15:50 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:29 05 October 2010

VOLUNTEERS have been turning out in force in the rain to plant thousands of trees in London’s East End. They are creating a new woodland to encourage wildlife in the heart of the urban landscape, just 10 minutes from the Tower of London

By Mike Brooke

VOLUNTEERS have been turning out in force in the rain to plant thousands of trees in London’s East End.

They are creating a new woodland to encourage wildlife in the heart of the urban landscape, just 10 minutes from the Tower of London.

Around 60 people including many neighbourhood children joined volunteers from the Trees for Cities charity on Saturday planting saplings, despite heavy rain and muddy ground, to help relieve the 'concrete jungle' in Swendeborg Gardens in Whitechapel, overlooked by concrete tower blocks of flats. They hope to have 2,500 rooted in by the end of the week.=

“We had no shortage of volunteers turning up in the rain,” said the charity's youth education manager Anna Kitteringham.

“One eight-year-old girl called Millie managed to plant 14 saplings. But she was wearing a white coat which got covered in mud.”

The woodland will be a mix of local and native species such as rowan, hawthorn, silver birch, hazel and holly, which will attract birds and wildlife to the area and, hopefully, create a restful and educational place to escape the daily pressures of urban life.

The project is part of Trees for Cities’ programme to improve urban life to bring a breath of fresh air and biodiversity into crowded neighbourhoods.


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