Stalking London’s Trees

It is estimated that about 20 per cent of London is covered in trees.  The Mayor has a target to increase tree cover by a further 5 per cent, to 25 percent, by 2025………Welcome to London Tree Week where you get the opportunity to celebrate the importance and wonder of the capital’s trees.  Rethinking Cities are delighted to announce three exciting and intriguing tree discovery walkshops which have been made possible through financial support from the MAYOR OF LONDON.



Tree or False?: 6.30pm-8.30pm Tuesday 26 May, 2015 Mary Geraldine Harmsworth Gardens, Imperial War Museum London SE1

Everyone has heard ‘an old wives’ tale’ about a certain tree species, some of which have a layer of truth within them, others are downright ‘porky pies’.
On this walkshop, participants are encouraged to investigate the myths and make up a few stories of their own. Trees can bear edible fruit, leaves and nuts, so participants can also investigate old recipes, cures and remedies and the brews of white and black witches!

Each participant receives a field notebook into which they insert tree leaves so by the end of the walk they have their own personal field guide.  We encourage them to take photographs and add them to their own personal photo galleries and to a shared on-line gallery.

Free event – but places must be booked:
Suitable for all: Adults / Families – accompanied children only.

Silent Witnesses: 6.30pm-8.30pm Thursday 28 May, 2015 Start: Euston Bus Station, Euston Road, London NW1 2BN

The London Plane tree, how bare our streets would be without these shade-providing adaptable and absorbent trees protecting all within our city.

We have teamed up with artist Susan Trangmar to run this walkshop celebrating the Platanus x acerifolia looking at how the prolific planting of this tree has framed the city and our urban dwellings. Standing for over a 100 years, many of these trees have silently witnessed significant changes in the streets in which they stand, framing historic and modern facades.  To some an inconvenience to development to others saviours of our hospitable urban micro-climate.  Love them or hate them, discover just what they’ve witnessed and find out what they have evoked.

This walkshop promises to be a thoughtful celebration in praise of the London Plane and the city it protects.

Cameras are welcome but please note that this is not a photographic workshop but an opportunity to see and consider the relationship between street trees and the changing city in new ways.  You will receive a field notebook and will be encouraged to create your own photographic memory of the event.

Suitable for Adults / Families – accompanied children only (participants to bring their own camera)

Free event – but places must be booked:

Stalking the Hardy Ash: Friday 29 May Start time: 4.00pm from Kentish Town rail & tube station, London – free event (FULLY BOOKED)

ADDITIONAL DATE:Saturday 30 May Start time: 10.00am from Kentish Town rail & tube station, London – free event (but booking essential)

150 years ago, poet and novelist Thomas Hardy while working as an architect’s technician was in charge of the excavation of the graveyard in Old St Pancras churchyard, arranging for the removal of gravestones so that work could continue on the London & Midland railway. The gravestones were leant up against an ash tree.  Over time, the tree roots have enmeshed the gravestones, creating an extraordinary feature.

And here begins our journey with a photography walkshop to explore other unusual trees in the vicinity and seek out significant trees that Thomas Hardy himself would have seen. This walkshop will include some amazing discoveries and uncover some revealing facts surrounding our trees.

We are delighted to be working with Peter Coles (Visiting Fellow and tutor at Goldsmiths and specialising in urban nature) in delivering this participatory walkshop.

These events will start at Kentish Town rail & tube station and end at Old St Pancras Churchyard (approximately at 2 hours later). Suitable for Adults / Families – accompanied children only (participants to bring their own camera)

Free event – but places must be booked:

Starting Monday 20 April, we are inviting you to Tweet truths and myths about trees – more details can be downloaded here

This article first appeared on the Rethinking Cities website