BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 27 May '15

Celebrate the capital’s trees with walks, talks and tours

This year’s London Tree Week, which runs until Sunday 31 May, includes free events such as tree walks in Greenwich and Richmond Parks, events in association with the National Gallery and the Museum of Walking and family activities at Stave Hill Ecological Park.

Now in its third year, London Tree Week was set up by Boris Johnson to celebrate trees in the capital and to encourage people to care for their local greenery.

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London’s trees

London is one of the greenest cities in the world; trees and woodlands make the city a more attractive place and also help combat the effects of climate change.

It’s estimated that there are about 7 million trees in London, and that roughly 20% of London is covered in trees. The Mayor has a target to increase tree cover by a further 5% – to 25% – by 2025 as part of a vision to help make London greener, cleaner, more welcoming and more resilient.

The value of trees

London’s urban forest is increasingly recognised as having an economic value thanks to its environmental benefits. An i-Tree Eco survey of London’s trees and woodlands will help to establish the benefits they provide and to put a value on the capital’s trees.

In the autumn of 2014 over 200 volunteers surveyed trees in more than 700 locations across London using the US Forest Service’s i-Tree methodology. The i-Tree data from the survey is currently being analysed, and a full report is expected this summer.

Photo challenge

Amateur and professional photographers alike will be able to take part in the London Tree Week Photo Sharing Challenge by uploading photos of trees to Instagram or Twitter.

Whether it’s the oldest, tallest, widest or most unusual tree, the public can tag photos using #LondonTreeWeek and share a snap of a tree that has made a difference to their leafy part of London.

A selection of photos shared on Instagram and Twitter during the week will be showcased on the City Hall website.

Must-see trees

The Mayor is also encouraging Londoners to download the free Tree Route app, which uses London’s famous Tube map to showcase the selection of trees we have in the capital. It includes must-see trees near each station, such as a Swamp Cypress near St Paul’s and a rare wild Black Poplar in Angel.

Those with green fingers are invited to join the Conservation Volunteers, who lend their support to a variety of community projects which include Dulwich Upper Wood and the Greenwich Meantime Tree Nursery.

Wednesday 27 May

Ten Acre and Gutteridge Woods Healthy Walk
Charville Library, Bury Avenue, Hillingdon, UB4 8LF, 11:00am-12:30pm

Countryside and conservation officer Alison Shipley leads this four-mile walk through Hillingdon’s Ten Acre and Gutteridge Woods. No booking required, but you’ll need to complete a brief health walks form first.

Oak processionary moth awareness
Holly Lodge, Richmond Park, TW10 5HS, 11:00am-2:00pm

Andrew Hoppit from the Forestry Commission leads this event which is for anyone with an interest in this area, particularly those who either own or manage oak trees.

Mandeville Place Community Orchard launch
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 12:00pm-4:00pm

A celebration of the opening of Mandeville Place Community Orchard and new pavilion in the centre of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There will be free activities such as face-painting, story-telling, apple-bobbing, roaming theatre performances and ‘have a go’ sports like boccia and wheelchair basketball.

Thursday 28 May

Woodland management at Coldfall Woods
Creighton Avenue, Muswell Hill, Haringey N2, 10:00am-3:00pm

Join The Conservation Volunteers in Coldfall Woods to help manage the woodland.

Greenwich Park Tree Walk
Greenwich Park, 10:30am-1:00pm

Join a Royal Parks arboricultural officer for a tour of Greenwich’s trees and flower gardens.

Silent Witnesses
Euston Bus Station, Euston Road, NW1 2BN, 6:30pm-8:30pm

The Museum of Walking and artist Susan Trangmar run this special walkshop to celebrate Platanus x acerifolia and how the prolific planting of this tree’s framed the city. Free event, but booking is essential.

Saturday 30 May

Stalking the Hardy Ash – 29 -30 May
Kentish Town BR/ Tube station, 10:00am-12:00pm

Some 150 years ago, poet and novelist Thomas Hardy was an architect’s technician in charge of excavating the graveyard in Old St Pancras churchyard. This photography walkshop with Peter Coles will explore this extraordinary feature and other unusual trees nearby that Hardy himself would have seen. Free, but booking is essential.

Sunday 31 May

Isabella Plantation Tree Walk
Richmond Park, Broomfield Hill Gate, 11:00am-1:00pm

Jo Scrivener, the park’s assistant manager, leads this special tour of Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park’s 40-acre woodland garden. The tour will focus on its large collection of exotic trees. Free, no booking required.

London Tree Week is part of the RE:LEAF partnership’s work to protect and increase the number of trees in London. Click here to find out more.