Local children dig deep for a cleaner, greener Merton

15 May 2018

Children from Merton Abbey Primary School joined Clarion Housing and Sustainable Merton last Thursday for an afternoon of tree-planting at Morden Recreation Ground.

A nursery of saplings is being created as preparations get under way for the delivery of the £1 billion Merton Regeneration Project. It is also part of Clarion’s drive to improve the ecology of the borough overall as it gears up to build new homes on High Path, Eastfields and Ravensbury following planning approval last month.

Paul Quinn, Director of Merton Regeneration at Clarion, said: “We wanted to give this area a green makeover as part of our commitment to borough-wide environmental initiatives. Trees are the lungs of our cities; they improve air quality and provide habitats for wildlife. As well as serving a practical purpose they’ll enhance the attractiveness of the green space where residents of all ages can meet, relax and play.”

Michael Bradley, head teacher of Merton Abbey Primary School, said: “The children loved taking part in the tree planting and it was a great opportunity for them to learn about how we can improve our environment. This activity – along with our previous High Path Regeneration Weeks – has helped the children to play an active role in the development of their local community.”

Diana Sterck, Interim CEO of Sustainable Merton, said: “We are very proud to be playing a key role in this innovative project. Clarion commissioned Sustainable Merton to manage the project for the next five years at least. Merton Council is also supporting it by providing the land, as well as water during the hottest months of the year.

“It is vital we plant as many trees as we can in Merton to reduce levels of pollution, absorb CO2 and release oxygen. They cool the air around them and provide habitats for a wide range of creatures. The project will enable Sustainable Merton to teach local school children how to engage in sustainability in an exciting and hands-on way.”

Further tree-planting is scheduled at Morden Recreation Ground in September. These trees will then be replanted on High Path once they have matured to create a healthy natural environment before the new homes are built.

Last month Merton Council approved plans for around 2,800 new homes across High Path, Eastfields and Ravensbury. There will be further opportunities for local school children and residents to get involved in shaping outside spaces now and in the future and many of the existing trees on the three neighbourhoods are being carefully retained.