It's great being outdoors in winter!

09 February 2018

Ben Connor from City Hall’s Environment team explains why he loves planting trees in winter...

In the depths of British winter, watching Blue Planet 2 on TV, the natural world can seem quite far away. Yet step outside and you’ll find London is rich with wildlife and full of green spaces. There are lots of great projects helping to make our city greener and connect Londoners to nature where they live.

On 2 February, I visited Prince of Wales Open Space in Enfield. Here, the local people are working together to turn an underused open space into a wetland and woodland habitat.

Planting trees for World Wetlands Day

To mark World Wetlands Day, students from nearby Prince of Wales Primary School joined the tree planting efforts. The children’s enthusiasm was infectious as they dug holes, planted trees and dedicated names to the freshly planted saplings.

This wasn’t just a one-off event. The students have been working with Enfield Council and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust for the last three years. They have researched the site, helped design the new wetlands and learned about the benefits it will bring for people and wildlife. In the words of one of the students:

We found out many facts: a mammoth tooth, a really old tree. There used to be more water in the park, we learnt about the history of the community. It’s amazing to know all of this!

Wetlands for people and wildlife

This winter, over 1,000 trees will be planted at Prince of Wales Wetland, funded by the Mayor and Enfield Council. It’s one of 29 projects supported by the Mayor’s Community Tree Planting grants through the Greener City Fund. Together, these projects will plant over 20,000 trees this winter and bring Londoners closer to nature.

The wetlands is a brilliant example of London’s green infrastructure – its network of green and blue spaces – can be designed and managed to benefit nature and Londoners. It will help to reduce local flood risk, improve the quality of water flowing into local rivers, give wildlife a home and a place people can enjoy.

Making London a National Park City

The Mayor also wants London to be the world’s first National Park City, where more than half its area is green. As a National Park City, London will be a city where people and nature are better connected, and all Londoners can enjoy high-quality green spaces. It is a vision already being put into practice at Prince of Wales Wetlands.

Use our Greener City Map to find local projects near you.

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