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Forest of 32,000 native trees to be planted in Dagenham as tribute to key workers of Covid-19 pandemic

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 October 2020

Preliminary work has begun at Parsloes Park in Dagenham, where the Forest of Thanks will be planted. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council

Preliminary work has begun at Parsloes Park in Dagenham, where the Forest of Thanks will be planted. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council

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Around 32,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted in Dagenham as a tribute to the NHS staff and key workers on the pandemic frontline.

The Forest of Thanks at Parsloes Park will be built using the Miyawaki method, which grows trees about 10 times faster than conventional techniques and establishes plantations up to 30 times denser.

It will be a chemical and fertiliser free forest that sustains itself once established, greatly boosts biodiversity and absorbs up to 30 times as much carbon dioxide as other tree-planting schemes.

The council has partnered with The Conservation Volunteers and SUGi Projects to create what will be the largest Miyawaki Forest in the UK, in recognition of everyone who has worked or helped others in the pandemic.

A garden or meadow of remembrance will be added later to commemorate those who lost their lives to Covid-19.

Leader of the council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, said: “With what has been extremely difficult times, we must recognise those who especially went above and beyond to help those who needed it most.

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“This is for every worker, whether that is a retail worker, council staff member or anyone else that has been keeping our community going and keeping people safe, but also to remember those who sadly passed away during this pandemic.

“We wanted to recognise those individuals in a very special way and one that would benefit the community.”

The site is being marked out, with digging to take place over the rest of this month.

Planting is expected to start on November 23 and be completed by the end of National Tree Week at the start of December.

Four years after planting, it’s expected the forest will absorb 24,000kg of carbon, process 1.5million litres of rain, and improve air quality by reducing polluting floating particulates by up to 10pc.

Deputy leader Cllr Saima Ashraf said: “The Forest of Thanks will be a wonderful addition to our green spaces and a place our residents will visit for years to come.”

There will be opportunities for the community to help with further planting in the new year, when it is safe to do so.

Email rangers@lbbd.gov.uk if you wish to help.


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