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Urban Tree Festival – starts 13 May

By deliar
20th April 2023

Londoners are invited to take part in this year’s Urban Tree Festival from 13 to 21 May. The event celebrates the benefits and beauty of trees in urban environments.


The Urban Tree Festival celebrates the role trees play in bringing nature closer for city dwellers through a vibrant mix of walks, talks and storytelling events across the capital.

CPRE London Director Anna Taylor said: ‘London’s parks, gardens, woodlands and nature reserves are filled with trees. They add to our enjoyment of the outdoors, as well as offering shade and habitats for all kinds of wildlife.’

‘Trees are good for our mental and physical health. They filter pollution, and protect against the impacts of climate change such as heat and flooding. We’re delighted to support this year’s event and hope everyone will join an event close to them.’


Inclusive nature cycle
Tuesday 16 May – 9.30am

Join us for this cycling event in Lewisham where people with any form of disability who find it easier to cycle than walk are encouraged to come and discover the excitement of urban plant hunting!  Carers, friends or family also welcome.  Cycling along the National Cycle Route  with writer, botanist and nature communicator, Leif Bersweden, you’ll be introduced to the trees and wild plants of south-east London – that grow all around us but usually go unnoticed or ignored.

This event will be run jointly with Wheels for Wellbeing. If you would like to use one of Wheels for Wellbeing’s adapted bikes you’ll need to  book an assessment to find one that meets your needs.  Contact or call 0207 346 8482.

People with disabilities with their own bikes will not require an assessment but do need to be confident that they can ride 12 miles on a traffic free route.  This event is supported by the Mayor of London.  To book see here.


The Wood that Built London – Author’s talk with Chris Schüler
Thursday 18 May – 6pm to 8pm

Enjoy a fascinating talk about the great wood that once stretched from Croydon to Deptford, remnants that survive, and need to link these back up together.  Woodland in London has historically played an important role in providing timber for construction, furniture and shipbuilding, and charcoal for London’s blacksmiths, kilns and bakeries as well as a precious habitat for wildlife.  What can we learn from this history about the importance and value of woodland and trees in the capital?

6pm for 6.30pm start. Drinks and nibbles will be provided. For more information and to book you FREE ticket see here.


Tree art for well-being
Wednesday 17 May – 10.30am to 12pm

This session will be led by holistic, integrated creative arts therapist Bev McGarey who specialises in woodland mindfulness.  Bev will encourage you to enjoy the trees in Crystal Palace park in Bromley, connecting with them in a multi-sensory way, as well as taking a creative and playful look at bark and tree trunks.  For more information and to book see here.


Can books save trees?
Fri, May 19, 2023, – 6pm to 8pm

At a time when mature urban trees – the most obvious manifestation of how cities can counteract the effects of the deepening climate crisis – are left vulnerable by weak legal protection, greedy developers and tin-eared insurers, our panel of three writers asks: can books save trees?  The discussion is chaired by Peter Fiennes, who will be in conversation with Gio Iozzi and Paul Wood.  The panellists will talk about how books have inspired them to notice, value and protect trees, and how urban trees figure in their own work.

6pm for 6.30pm start. Drinks and nibbles will be provided.  For more information and to book your FREE ticket see here.


Buckthorne Cutting Nature Reserve Open Day
Sunday 21 May – 11am to 3pm 

This event will be a celebration of the success of the local community group that cares for the nature reserve, Fourth Reserve, in raising over £100,000 to buy neighbouring Gorne Wood, the nearest patch of ancient woodland to the City of London.

This was a major first step in their plan to acquire the woodland to protect the trees and habitats which also creating a wild green community space at the woodland edge.  Gorne Wood is one of the green spaces included in the CPRE London Ten New Parks Campaign.  The campaign supports a variety of green spaces under threat from nature reserves to woodlands and marshlands.

There will be a tree talk by James Newton 11.30am to 12.30pm and music from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and activities for children to learn about trees.  You’ll be able to explore the nature reserve and look across the footbridge to fenced off and fly tipped Gorne Wood and talk with us about the site’s future!

Address: Buckthorne Nature Reserve, Eddystone Road Footbridge, Eddystone Road, SE4 2DG.  Eddystone Road is between the Brockley Jack pub and the Jerk Garden Cafe.  Nearest station is Crofton Park Station and nearest bus stop covers 122, P4, 172 and 171.  No need to book – just turn up on the day – but please mark what promises a fun and fascinating day on your calendar.


Find out more about about the wider Urban Tree Festival here.

St Pauls and tree