Eco 2022: Hundreds of free trees on offer as project aims to create a new ‘forest’

Camden Forest aims for more than 2,000 new trees By PIPPA KELLY

Friday, 7th January — By Pippa Kelly

free trees camden forest Image 2022-01-06 at 11.50.00

The trees will be available at Primrose Hill Community Library tomorrow (Saturday)

By PIPPA KELLY

FREE trees will be given away this weekend in a plan to create a new “forest” in Camden.

Project organisers said they want people to plant them, but also to understand their importance.

The Camden Forest project will begin this year’s giveaway at Primrose Hill Community Library on Saturday,
Crab apple, dog rose, field maple, wild cherry and hawthorn trees will be available.

First launched in November 2019, , Camden Forest aims to plant 2,025 trees by the year 2025.

One thousand trees have so far been provided by volunteers from the Trust for Conservation and, after being planted by their new owners, known as “tree guardians”, have been logged on a map of the borough.

Dorothy Boswell, who has been involved with the project since the start, said: “It’s all about carbon capture and biodiversity. It’s not just about numbers. Trees provide us with beauty, they tell us the seasons are changing, they provide shelter and food for wildlife and permanent pollinators”.

Using sponsorship from the KOKO Foundation, in the coming months Camden Forest plan to host another 10 tree giveaways, providing members of the community with 500 more young trees.

Ms Boswell stressed that while becoming a tree guardian can be a responsibility, planting the two-metre-high, two-year-old trees is not difficult.

“You literally get a spade, you put it in the ground, you tread on it, you wiggle around a bit, you poke the root in and then you tread it down – you don’t have to dig a hole or anything,” she said.

Organisers are also looking to increase the number of trees on Camden’s estates with a community meeting planned for January 14.

Ms Boswell hopes the project will see at least 20 large trees planted in every estate across the borough, with Peckwater in Kentish Town set to become the first. It is hoped the trees will provide part-time employment for local teenagers, who will be paid to water and care for them.

Camden Forest will also be hosting online talks exploring seasonal change and spotlighting the folklore of trees.

Ms Boswell said: “What we really want is people to engage, so it’s not just about taking a tree away, it’s planting it, it’s actually telling us what it means to them, telling us if it’s doing okay.”

“We’re hoping to involve more people, not just in planting trees, but actually noticing them, taking care of them, watering them.”

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