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Getting back to nature

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

I don’t know what the term ‘getting back to nature’ means to you? For me, the sun comes out and I think of green spaces, trees, plants and all good things about being outside. So having the opportunity to be part of the tree planting team at Merton Rec as part of our new project with Clarion Housing to clean up Merton’s air was a definite “it’s a yes from me!”

So, on Saturday 14th April, I joined a group of Sustainable Merton’s volunteers, along with Tim Sargeant from Clarion Housing, to set about planting a variety of small trees along the boundary edge. I arrived – with 3 year old grand-daughter in tow (thinking she would like to plant some trees too) – to witness an impressive sight! Well prepared soil, markers in place, holes dug and planting already on the go. It was a perfect day for planting – the soil was damp, the sun was shining, and lots of passers by were very interested in what was going on. Three hours later, we’d dug holes, fertilised the soil and carefully planted around 250 young trees. Now we watch and wait, and volunteers will be watering to help those saplings flourish and grow.

To build new homes, it is necessary to remove some of the trees on High Path Eastfields and Ravensbury estates. The nursery will house the various phases of the replacement trees that will be eventually replanted on these estates. This project will enable the new trees to establish here in the borough and have an effect on cleaning the air far sooner than if planted on completion of the regeneration.

It is vital we plant as many trees as we can in Merton to reduce levels of pollution, absorb CO2 and release oxygen. The project will enable Sustainable Merton to teach local school children how to engage in sustainability in an exciting and hands-on way.”

Our thanks go to Clarion Housing for asking Sustainable Merton to take on this project as part of their regeneration work. It was great to see a number of school children there a couple of weeks later finishing the job for us!”

Diana Sterck

CEO, Sustainable Merton


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