tree planting

We Plant Trees

FCC works in conjunction with Lambeth and the CCMAC ecology working group in order to plant new trees on the Common.

Current Planting


The UK will need to plant 1.5 billion trees to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
There are around 2,000 trees on Clapham Common (89 hectares). Wandsworth Common is smaller (69 hectares) and has more trees (3,500). Brockwell Park is 51 hectares and has 2,000 trees.

For new plantings, FCC consults with Lambeth and the Common’s ‘Tree Planting Strategy’ in order to ensure that, in general, we plant the correct species in the correct places.

As well as implementing the Tree Strategy Action Plan, FCC has an ongoing project to plant 101 memorial trees. These trees are paid for by people who wish to remember a loved one by way of a tree, and there is a map showing their locations in the bandstand cafe.

Benefits of Tree Planting

Below are some of the benefits of planting plenty of trees on the Common:
– absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (approximately 1 tonne per tree over 100 years)
– reduce the noise nuisance and visibility of traffic
– improve air quality
– provide a habitat for wildlife, increase biodiversity, helping create an ecological area
– enhance mental and general health for the community
– reduce temperature, provide shade in summer
– improve soil quality, reduce erosion and risk of floods.

Background Documents for Tree Planting on the Common:
2012, Clapham Common Tree Strategy, Action Plan, 2012 to 2022
1) Priority ‐ replacement of dead / dying, poor trees with high amenity value (Short term aim)
2) Succession –anticipation of trees that will be lost, focusing on high amenity trees (Medium term aim)
3) Infill – Replanting to achieve a pattern of historic tree cover (circa 1895) and general planting for biodiversity objectives (Long term aim)
4) Woodland / Group – Staggered increase to the extent of existing woodland or to create compact woodland groups (Long term aim)

Higher level documents or legislation influencing tree planting on the Common:

In 2016 the EU ratified the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep any increase in the global average temperature to less than 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit any increase to 1.5°C.
In 2018 the London Environment Strategy set the following targets:
– to be a zero carbon city by 2050
– to increase tree cover by 10% from current levels by 2050.

In 2019 the UK government set a target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) advised planting 1.5bn trees (30,000 hectares a year). The target set for England was 5,000 hectares, but only 1,420 hectares were planted in year to March 2019.
In view of the above, in 2019 Lambeth Council approved all expenditure required for the implementation of the Clapham Common Masterplan.

Past Plantings

Protecting and Improving Clapham Common

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