Hill Mead Primary students plant trees in Brockwell Park

20 May 2024

Written by: Lambeth Council

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 Lambeth school children get hands-on experience planting trees in Brockwell Park after pitching their improvement ideas to councillors.

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Hill Mead Primary students plant trees in Brockwell Park

Pupils from Hill Mead Primary School helped plant 70 Elder, Wild Cherry, Dogwood, Hazel and Buckthorn trees in Brockwell Park as part of the “Rewild Brockwell North” and “Park Life” projects.

In early February, the pupils were visited by local councillors to listen to their suggestions for improving Brockwell Park as part of the “Park Life” research programme run by Goldsmith’s University.

One of the children’s key suggestions was to create more biodiversity and habitats for wildlife, so they were excited to be invited to a tree planting day to help introduce more habitats for nature as part of the Rewild Brockwell North project.

The children planted 60 small trees (whips) and helped plant nine larger trees (standards).

The species chosen are all British woodland trees and will benefit birds, pollinating insects, and other wildlife. As they grow, these trees will help to link together existing semi-wooded areas in the park, creating a more resilient habitat.

Rewild Brockwell North has been developed in line with the Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan and national guidance on good practice. It is supported by the Mayor of London in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust with a grant of £36,941. Along with linking existing wooded habitats through tree planting, the project works with contractors to strip turf, create a new meadow area alongside the planted trees, and improve habitat in the larger pond with planted coir rolls and floating islands for duck nesting.

The Rewild Brockwell North project aims to transform 2.5 hectares of Brockwell Park and increase resilience in another adjoining 6 hectares that will be managed for wildlife. It will plant:

  • 12 Standard trees
  • 105 shrub whips
  • 25 tree whips
  • 9 kilos of ‘bees and birds’ seed mix
  • 1 kilo of damp meadow seed mix
  • 1 kilo of small-seeded crops for birds
  • 20 metres of pre-vegetated coir rolls
  • 16sqm of the new vegetated islands with a fish cage underneath

As well as being a vital recreational resource for thousands of locals, Brockwell Park is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).

Native tree planting in Brockwell Park boosts biodiversity, contributes to Lambeth’s Urban Forest Strategy, and helps build a clean, vibrant, climate-resilient borough.

The Hill Mead Primary School pupils who help plant these trees can re-visit for years and watch as their hard work supports wildlife and nature in their local area.

Ibrahim from the 3/4 Green class said: “I liked working with plants because it’s so creative. Flowers are extraordinary; they make me feel peaceful.”

Moaad 3/4 Blue class said: “I like the Parklife Project; it was calming, relaxing and fun. Planting the trees was so satisfying. I like to think those will grow big like me.”

Deputy leader Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, cabinet member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clear Air, said: “We always look to maximise trees and wildlife in Brockwell Park. Every year we’re planting more trees and this year has been a record year.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to work with children like this and deliver educational opportunities and influence for young people as we reshape the borough to confront the climate emergency.”