News Release Media call: for immediate release Happy New Trees! Community plant future legacy for Clapham Common Where: Clapham Common Bandstand (meeting point) When: 12:30pm, Saturday 17th January 2009 12th January 2009 Much-loved by its community, Clapham Common is to celebrate the first month of the year with a gift of 25 new trees, planted by local volunteers and schools with help from the charity Trees for Cities and Friends of Clapham Common. The new trees will replace some of those lost in previous years and will provide improved habitat for the local wildlife of the Common. Volunteers at the Saturday Planting Day will plant large standard trees, including London Planes, Limes, and Sweet Chestnuts, and ten, one metre high Holly trees. Focusing on the community-feel of the Common, families are also invited to attend with a range of woodland-themed activities available to entertain children including a woodland scavenger hunt, tree wishes, woodland bingo, tree rubbings and woodland collages. Saturday‟s planting is part of a series of activities on Clapham Common scheduled for the new year, including a „Schools Day‟ to plant 275 saplings and shrubs and woodland management volunteer days, to increase biodiversity in Nursery Woods. The project is funded by a variety of green-minded organisations, including the Friends of Clapham Common, who received a Big Lottery Fund, „Breathing Places‟ grant towards trees and community activities; an O2 „It‟s Your Community‟ award, contributing towards materials used to clean and green the park; and, a „Grassroots‟ grant, received from the Capital Community Foundation to support community workshops. The Forestry Commission and Idlewild Trust have also contributed to the programme. Peter Burke Murphy from the Friends of Clapham Common says “This has been a rewarding team effort. It demonstrates the value people place on trees for Clapham Common. I should like to thank Trees for Cities for organising this event and for the many donations towards the project given by local people and groups. I also wish to acknowledge support from the Clapham Society and particularly Diana Bell for giving us the benefit of her expertise”. Graham Simmonds, Chief Executive of award-winning charity Trees for Cities who provide further funding and support to the project, says “As a Clapham resident myself I am aware of how important Clapham Common is to the local community and it's great that we are planting more trees and helping to make this News Release much-loved green space even more attractive and interesting - it‟s the best way to start the New Year with new trees for future generations!" Lambeth‟s Cabinet Member for Culture, Mark Bennett says “Most of the trees we see on Clapham Common today were planted by the Victorians so many of them are reaching the end of their natural life and are lost during storms or felled for being unsafe. It is essential, out of respect for the heritage of the Common and for the habitat of local wildlife that we continue to plant trees – what better way than doing it together as a community”. Photo opportunities: -Volunteers, Trees for Cities team, Friends of Clapham Common and Lambeth Councillors planting a pollarded Salix alba 'Britzensis' (white willow) by the small pond south of the junction of Windmill Drive and Clapham Common South Side All media enquiries: Kate Shepherd: Tel. 020 7820 4426 email@example.com Notes to Editors 1. Trees for Cities is an award-winning charity that plants trees and re-landscapes public spaces in urban areas of greatest need. The charity‟s vision is to stimulate a greening renaissance in cities around the world that will impact on global warming and beautify the urban landscape, as well as encouraging greater social cohesion through the active participation of local people. A special effort is made to involve children and young people in all of the projects. The public can get involved by registering as a volunteer, enrolling in training programmes, taking part in the Tree-Athlon and going to fundraising parties – see www.treesforcities.org for more information. Trees for Cities was recently awarded the Bank of America Neighbourhood Builder Award in recognition of the impact the charity has made on local communities.