Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Join Our Campaign to Green the Capital ;Plant a Tree for LONDON; Free Saplings for Schools and Clubs to Help Fight Climate Change

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Join Our Campaign to Green the Capital ;Plant a Tree for LONDON; Free Saplings for Schools and Clubs to Help Fight Climate Change

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK PRIGG

Join our campaign to green the capital

plant a tree for LONDON

THE Evening Standard launches a major campaign today to encourage London's children to plant trees and help safeguard the future environment.

Hundreds of saplings will be sent to schools and youth clubs across the capital with the aim of creating new hedges and copses.

The campaign comes as scientists warn that climate change is wreaking havoc with London's tree population which faces attack from a combination of drought, disease and insect infestations.

Paul Bunton of the Woodland Trust said: "Trees are absolutely essential to the urban environment and we really hope that by involving London's schools and youth clubs, we can make children aware of what they do."

Research has highlighted the importance of urban trees as a way to absorb greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and they have also been proved to filter contaminants.

However, recent droughts and building on London's green areas are taking their toll.

The capital's horse chestnut trees are particularly at risk, suffering from a combination of the drought, disease and a voracious pest called the leaf miner moth.

Andy Tipping of the London Tree Officers Association said: "The leaf miner moth is on almost every horse chestnut tree in London already and is spreading quickly through the entire South-East."

Organisations such as the Woodland Trust and Trees for London are running campaigns to try to replant areas that have been worst hit.

Mr Bunton said: "We really want children to get out and get their hands dirty. For too long they have been stuck in front of the TV when they should be out digging for worms and getting muddy. There are some very important lessons about climate change and biodiversity these children can learn."

As well as sending out tree saplings, the scheme will provide educational materials tied into geography and science lessons for children aged seven to 11. …

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