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Residents come together to plant first of 60 new trees in Barn Hill

PUBLISHED: 17:05 23 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:24 27 March 2017

Residents were joined by council officials and Cllr Shafique Choudhary to plant the first new oak. (Photo: Sam Corbishley)

Residents were joined by council officials and Cllr Shafique Choudhary to plant the first new oak. (Photo: Sam Corbishley)

Archant

More than 25 residents gathered on a green on Barn Rise, in Wembley, today to plant the first of 60 new trees in the area funded by the Greater London Authority.

The oak is the first of 60 new trees to be planted in the Barn Hill area. (Photo: Sam Corbishley)The oak is the first of 60 new trees to be planted in the Barn Hill area. (Photo: Sam Corbishley)

Applications for grants flooded in from 29 projects across London, including one spearheaded by Barn Hill Residents Association chair John Woods.

After pursuing the issue for over a decade, Mr Woods finally broke ground two months ago after the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, delivered £750,000 to plant 41,906 new trees across the capital.

Brent Council’s street trees department was awarded £20,000 to plant 63 trees - including flowering cherries, purple plum, birch, crab apple and oak - to reinstate character tree planting across the Barn Hill area.

“I knew that there was a need for trees here, but the mayor’s funding came through for tree planting at very short notice and I applied knowing there was a need here and we were successful,” said principle tree officer Lawrence Usherwood, who worked with principle landscape architecht Martin Page on delivering the new additions.

“It was amazingly simple. Often, projects are incredibly complicated but this one, we just applied for the money and we got it.

“The real story is John and Julie were asking for money for trees for years.”

Of his 11 years worth of hard work, Mr Woods, who lives barely a minute from the site of the first tree, said: “I really don’t care where they are - I am just glad they are going to be on this hill.”

Barn Hill councillor Shafique Choudhary joined residents as they planted the inaugural sapling - in the shadow of another 100-year-old oak.

“While evrybody is talking about pollution in the air, we in Barn Hill are trying our best to have a clean environment,” he said.

“I would like to say thanks to the council because they are listening to residents about environmental issues and the need for cleaner air and a place for wildlife.”

It forms part of a wider project across the borough in which Brent Council were awarded £27,600 and £35,475 so that the Sudbury Town Residents Association could plant 80 trees to boost the area’s character and the Kensal Green Streets and Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum could plant 120 ornamental trees respectively.

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