Local school children braved the worst storm of the year to help plant 500 trees. London Wildlife Trust's Camley Street Natural Park was the new home for the trees which have been provided by Tree Appeal. Unfortunately we chose a day when the weather was not kind. The Tree Appeal team arrived at Camley Street early to find that, along with 25,000 homes, there was no electricity. The storm was so bad that it was given a name - Kyrill.
The 500 trees for Camley Street were sponsored Printing.com, the nationwide colour printing company as part of their pledge to plant 10,000 trees this year. Printing.com is an enthusiastic supporter of Tree Appeal and representatives from many of their London stores were at the planting, some wishing that they dressed warmer.
Not long into the day we received a call from David Bellamy who was due to attend the planting. He was sat on a stationary train somewhere near Newark. He never did make it, choosing to turn for home when it became obvious he wouldn't arrive in daylight - Particularly galling as it was his birthday. Happy birthday David.
The famous Camley Street Natural Park is a wild green space right in the heart of London. We just happened to pick a day when it was a bit wilder than usual. The internationally acclaimed reserve, created on the banks of the Regents canal and close to King's Cross is cared for by London Wildlife Trust. It is a place for both people and wildlife and includes a pond, meadow and woodland. The tree planting is part of Camley Street's full time education programme for Camden schools.
The children from Hargrave Park Primary School in Islington were not put off by the weather but disappointed that they didn't get to meet Professor Bellamy. They each received a certificate to commemorate the day and did not seem too bothered by the horizontal rain.
The aim of Tree Appeal is to plant and conserve trees within the UK and globally in appreciation of the environmental and humanitarian benefits that trees provide. All the trees are native broad-leaf such as Beech, Oak and Hazel. Ken Whitley of Tree Appeal said, "Trees are the longest lived organism on the planet. Planting trees is an investment that makes a global ecological heritage for many hundreds of years. We have to show that we are seriously addressing our own country's environmental issues. Only then are we in a position to influence global changes, like stopping the cutting down of rain forests". Ken had plenty of time to ponder the day's events because he did not get home that night, all trains from King's Cross having been cancelled.
Printing.com take a very enlightened approach to all things environmental. Development Manager James Hughes said, "Our business works because we are as efficient as possible. We use fewer resources and that means less waste. What waste we do produce is recycled or reprocessed. We use vegetable-based inks and unbleached cartons. All paper is sourced from sustainable forests. We are very committed to Tree Appeal as a way of showing that caring for the environment is fundamental to everything we do".
We plan to revisit Camley Street. In the summer.