The London Tree and Woodland Awards, otherwise known as the Tree Oscars, took place at City Hall last night. In its eleventh year it celebrates the work of individuals, communities and professionals to protect, improve and expand the capital's tree and woodland cover, inspire others to manage trees and woodlands and raise the profile of London's trees and the need for management.
This year there were eight award categories judged by a panel which included Forestry Commission, Greater London Authority, Natural England, Trees and Design Action Group, Woodland Trust, London National Park City and the London Tree Officers Association.
Tony Kirkham, Head of Aboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew compared the evening with awards being presented by Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment & Energy and Sir Harry Studholme, Forestry Commission Chair, with the winners receiving a framed certificate and a wooden bowl made from a London tree.
The Community Woodland Award Winner - Friends of Stambourne Woods
An award for woodland management that has been inspired, driven, and delivered by local community groups. Friends of Stambourne Woods works with Croydon Council to enhance the biodiversity and amenity value of a small urban wood in Upper Norwood.
The Community Tree Award Winner - Evelyn 200
An award for an orchard restoration project that has been inspired, driven, and delivered by local community groups. Evelyn 200 was a project implemented by the park users group Deptford Folk with the aim of planting 200 trees in the Evelyn Electoral Ward.
The Acorn Award Winner - Lesley Wertheimer
An award for an individual who has made a voluntary contribution to promoting or conserving trees. In the last year alone, Lesley has given over 170 volunteer hours to at least 15 community orchards within London.
London Borough Tree & Woodland Award Winner - Barnet Tree Policy
An award for a tree planting and management project that has been led by a London borough. The Tree Policy created by Barnet was to ensure a consistent approach to the management of council owner trees within the borough and is a template for others to follow.
Tree and Business Award Winner - Wates Treeathlon
An award for a tree planting or management project with significant business involvement. A company wide project with staff fundraising to enable tree planting. So far they have raised an incredible £15000.
London Wood Enterprise Award Winner - Saunders Seasonings
An award for a wood product made in London of sustainable timber from London’s urban forest. An excellent example of reusing already felled trees and connecting the history of the tree to the finished project, recent creations include the handmade London bus cards for a London hotel, making Cello and Violin racks for Kings Cross Academy and the Saunders seasoning seats that have been created using London Plane trees.
The Tree Council Trees and Learning Award Winner - St Pauls School Greening Project
An award for a project that has engaged and involved children of any age up to 16. The winning project was focused on helping to mitigate against noise and air pollution, bringing greenery to the open space, creating vital shade and a wildlife friendly environment for the children.
The London Tree Officers Association Individual Commitment Award Winner - Katrina Ramsey
An award for an individual employed professionally within London who has shown consistent dedication and commitment over a prolonged period. This award was given to Katrina in recognition of the self-evident hard work she does to promote and safeguard trees, the results she achieves, and the commitment over the years to putting trees centre stage within the Greater London Authority.
Congratulations to all the winners and those Highly Commended by the judges in some categories, and thank you to those organisations that help make the awards possible with their sponsorship; Coombe Forestry, Acres Wild Woodlands, Bartlett Tree Experts, Clear Channel and the Woodland Trust.