There are some fine lime trees along the Latchmere Lane boundary and an avenue of maples across the middle of the Rec which will be an attractive feature as the recently planted trees mature. But overall, the number and variety of trees on the Rec is quite limited.
The Council maintains a register of all the trees on the Rec and this shows that in 2017, there were 123 trees, representing the following 13 species:
Trees on Latchmere Rec November 2017
With this register, we will be able to measure the progress we make with the Council, in increasing the number of variety of trees.
Trees and ecology
Trees provide structure and visual interest to a park. They provide colour and a home for nature and of course, they all benefit the global environment by absorbing CO2. So, put simply, we want more trees!
But trees vary enormously in the amount of wildlife they support - native oaks have been recorded as hosting 284 insect species, hawthorn 149, limes 31, field maple 26, planes 1 and rhododendrons 0. These figures are only one measure of trees’ benefit to wildlife but dramatically demonstrate the benefits of planting native and wildlife-friendly species.
Tree planting plan
FoLaR has prepared a tree planting plan which we are hoping will be endorsed by the Council and by residents when we consult on the plan in May. This provides for:
Extending the existing boundary planting, primarily with more limes
Planting specimen trees – bold beautiful trees, providing autumn colour (e.g. pin oak, tulip tree, sweet gum, alder and at least one English oak)
Planting smaller, predominantly native trees, e.g. hawthorn, native cherry, rowan, white beam, birch and amelanchier
The Council has very little money for new trees but fortunately, a number of charitable bodies support tree planting and FoLaR will continue to apply for the funding and free trees that they offer.