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"Tree nirvana": Boris Johnson expands SE1’s street tree priority area

Residents around Bermondsey Street, Tower Bridge Road and the Rockingham Estate are now eligible to apply to the Mayor of London have a new tree planted in their street thanks to an expansion of the Borough street tree priority area.

In February 2009 the Mayor of London named 'Borough' – defined according to very odd boundaries stretching from Meymott Street in the west to Chambers Street in the east – as one of his first 20 street tree priority areas.

The Mayor has now launched the third round of City Hall's tree funding grants and revealed that 5,000 street trees have already been planted in 24 London boroughs towards the target of planting 10,000 street trees by 2012.

The Borough priority area – now one of 40 eligible London neighbourhoods – has now been expanded to include all of Chaucer ward and a chunk of Grange ward.

The Mayor wants to encourage people living in the priority areas who would like trees outside their house to register their interest online by 14 July at www.london.gov.uk/streettrees

People's expressions of interest will then be passed on to borough councils who, as a requirement for street tree funding applications, will be asked where practicable to plant their allocation of trees in areas where residents most want them.

It is expected that 100-400 street trees will be planted in chosen locations across every priority area by March 2012, so by registering online, residents will increase the chances of their streets getting some greenery.

"I am proud that we are halfway to our tree nirvana of 10,000 more trees by 2012," says boris Johnson.

"These street trees are now sprouting up across the capital making our skyline greener, air sweeter and laying down their roots in this great city."

The Mayor's street tree programme is managed by the Forestry Commission, with environmental regeneration charity Groundwork London as delivery partners and is an expansion of the Forestry Commission's existing London Tree and Woodland Grant Scheme.

Local councils, housing associations and community groups are encouraged by the Mayor to bid for funding so that at least 3500 trees are planted this year.

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