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Help create an ‘M25 of trees’ for London

By deliar
21st September 2023

CPRE London is calling for a new Tree Ring Community Forest – a continuous ring of woodland winding around the capital – a kind of M25 for nature.

This exciting project will help expand existing wooded areas in green belt and neighbouring sites – the countryside on London’s doorstep. We want to link wooded and wild areas so wildlife can easily move from one area to another. Replanting, or encouraging natural regeneration, will strengthen the capital’s biodiversity, as well as the Green Belt’s important role in carbon capture.

Can you help us locate priority sites for woodland creation? How can these sites best complement other habitats and land-uses, as well as provide welcoming space for community use? Input from friends of green space groups is especially useful. If you know anyone involved with a local friends group, please encourage them to submit their thoughts and suggestions.

In places less suitable for traditional native woodland, new urban orchards, hedgerows, street trees, and tree planted field margins can keep the ring of trees unbroken. If you know two wooded areas that could be linked creatively, such as across more built up areas by adding more street trees and rain gardens with tree gardens in then, please feel free to suggest options. In some places, a green bridge may offer a practical solution.

We hope to secure funding for The Tree Ring Community Forest from DEFRA, and have offers of technical support for community groups with planting or maintenance of young saplings from The Woodland Trust and TCV.  We are in talks with local authorities and other landowners about making land available.

We are currently mapping priority woodland creation sites with help from Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL).  For this we urgently need reliable information on existing young woodland in Green Belt which has been planted in the last 20 years or has self seeded. These may not yet have been reported to GiGL – so will be missing from existing maps. This will help us see more clearly where further planting is needed to join this up to established woodland habitat.

We are also interested in woodland creation opportunities that could help create continuous green routes from central London to the Green Belt.

We need your help!

Sites can be on publicly or privately owned land. Even if you can only name one site for potential new planting, or where planting has taken place recently, your input will be massively appreciated!

Please send your suggestions regarding potential planting sites to  We will investigate further regarding their suitability.

To support our greening the green belt programme –  protecting London’s countryside and creating woodland for our children and grandchildren to explore – please click here



Woodland creation opportunity mapping work

We are grateful to the Mayor of London for supporting our work in partnership with GiGL mapping green belt woodland creation opportunities and undertaking research that has informed this campaign.  This is part of a broader project for which the GLA has funding through the Trees Call to Action Fund. The fund was developed by Defra in partnership with the Forestry Commission and is being delivered by the Heritage Fund.

Boy walking in woods