Second season of major tree-planting project begins

Enfield Chase Restoration Project aims to plant another 50,000 trees in the borough this winter

Around 40 volunteers attended the first tree planting day of the second season of Enfield Chase Restoration Project
Around 40 volunteers attended the first tree-planting day of the second season of Enfield Chase Restoration Project (credit Mr Khokhar)

The second planting season for a major rewilding project in Enfield has begun, with scores of local volunteers digging in to help.

In partnership with Enfield Council, environmental charity Thames 21 is leading on the project to plant 100,000 trees across 60 hectares of council-owned farmland stretching between Trent Park and Crews Hill. This area, part of the former Enfield Chase royal hunting ground, had been significantly deforested around 350 years ago.

Enfield Chase Restoration Project was launched last November with £1.3million in combined funding from City Hall, the Forestry Commission and the council, with the aim to rewild under-used farmland, reduce flood risk downstream, and help absorb 234 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Although the pandemic lockdown in late 2020 and early 2021 severely limited the involvement of volunteers with the project last winter, Thames 21 still kept to its target of planting the first 50,000 trees, mainly along the route of the London Loop and Salmons Brook.

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This season’s new volunteering sessions kicked off on Saturday 20th November with around 40 people joining the first tree-planting day at Rectory Farm, just off The Ridgeway. Sessions are now taking place every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, until the end of February 2022, and anyone is welcome to take part.

Among those joining the first of this season’s planting sessions was a large contingent from Ahmadiyya Muslims Community UK. The 23 women helped plant more than 200 trees between them and Sadia Jowaheer, who is part of the group, said: “Not only will the planting of these trees aid in the restoration of our atmosphere, but they will also act as a barrier for flooding.

“Much of the water will now be absorbed by these trees, reducing the risk of greater damage.

“We pray that these trees are a source of blessings for all and look forward to getting involved in similar events.”

Enfield Council announced last week that it was also stepping up its planting programme for local roads and that residents were invited to suggest locations in the borough where they would like to see more streets trees. Deputy leader Ian Barnes said: “We are asking you where you’d like to see more trees. Is there a space on your street, school or local park that would be ideal for a single tree or even a mini-woodland?”

To get involved with Enfield Chase Restoration Project:

To make suggestions for new street trees in Enfield: Email [email protected]

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