Barking and Dagenham named ‘tree city of the world’

Cllrs Darren Rodwell and Syed Ghani dig deep for the environment. Picture: LBBD

Cllrs Darren Rodwell and Syed Ghani dig deep for the environment. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

The borough has joined Toronto, New York City and Paris to be recognised as a “tree city of the world”.

Although not a city, Barking and Dagenham received the backing of the scheme's organisers, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, along with the Arbor Day Foundation, to scoop the accolade.

The international programme celebrates cities across the world that meet standards for the care and planning of trees and forests in cities.

Cllr Syed Ghani, cabinet member for public realm, said: "We want to be the green capital of the capital, so seeing the borough's name up alongside international cities such as Milan and Madrid, is a step in the right direction.

"Trees have a variety of benefits for us all, and that's why we're investing in our green spaces and creating a place where people want to work and live."

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There are currently more than 74,000 trees in the borough and about 9,000 streets with trees.

Barking and Dagenham recently got 272 trees from the government's urban tree challenge fund and the Mayor of London's greener city fund.

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There are currently 28 parks in the borough and more than 460 hectares of public open space.

The borough is one of only five places in the UK named as part of the international programme.

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