More than 1,000 trees planted by volunteers in Ray Park, Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green

More than 1,000 trees planted by volunteers

Volunteers from Trees for Cities

Petra Maxwell with Maggie and Callum

Donna Byswater with Victoria

PC Suresh Sunder and PC Declan Maloney from Bridge SNT

Cllr Robin Turbefield

Ilford North MP Lee Scott with Kate Sheldon, Development Director with Trees for Cities

First published in Redbridge by

More than 1,000 trees were planted by volunteers, the police and politicians to create an urban woodland in the heart of Woodford Green.

The tree-planting on Saturday in Ray Park, Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green, kicked off charity Trees for Cities 20th birthday celebrations.

The project will see a record-breaking 15,000 trees planted in the park in ten days.

The variety of trees will line the southern boundary of the park near to the River Roding, with the aim of improving biodiversity and ecological interest in the park.

Voluteer, Donna Byswater, helped plant around a dozen trees with her daughter Victoria, six.

The 40-year-old mum of two, from Uplands Road, in Woodford Bridge, said: “I stopped going to the park a few years ago because it was becoming a dumping ground for rubbish and there was a lot of trouble with gangs, before the James Leal Centre was built.

“The area is going to look stunning once the trees grow.

“It is like anything – if you make it look nicer then it deters the trouble makers.

“It was a great day out and there was a lot of community spirit around.”

Petra Maxwell, 36, of Prospect Road, Woodford Green helped plant five trees with her children Maggie, four, and Callum, two.

She said: “It was the first time the children had done anything like it. Callum was fascinated by the worms which were being turned up.

“It was really good for the children to see where trees come from and how they grow.

“It was fun for them and also educational. They will be able to see how the trees change over the years and will be able to say they helped plant a tree in the wood.”

Also helping out on the day was cllr Robin Turbefield of Bridge ward, Police Constable’s Suresh Sunder and Declan Maloney from Bridge Safer Neighbourhood Team and Ilford North MP Lee Scott.

The project is supported by Redbridge Vision, the company which manages the park on behalf of Redbridge Council and campaign Big Tree Plant which will see a million trees planted in the UK by 2015.

Volunteers are still needed for the following dates - January, 15, 16, 29 and 30.

For more information email volunteer@treesforcities.org.

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