Veteran BBC reporter plants 500th tree of Marylebone ecology project

07:00 26 May 2012

John Simpson was joined by pupils from St Vincent

John Simpson was joined by pupils from St Vincent's Primary School

Jonathan Goldberg 07958 229 037

Veteran BBC journalist John Simpson planted the 500th tree on the streets of Marylebone last Thursday to mark the completion of a three-year project to line the pavements with greenery.

The W1W Tree Planting Initiative has seen the likes of TV presenter Matthew Wright, Marylebone resident Barbara Windsor and gardener Alan Titchmarsh all plant trees around the area since 2009.

The ceremony, outside BBC Broadcasting House on Hallam Street, saw Mr Simpson joined by his family, pupils from St Vincent’s Primary School and the newly elected Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Angela Harvey.

Speaking at the event, the 67-year-old BBC world affairs editor said: “I cannot tell you how chuffed I am to be here. In fact when I received the letter I thought they must have thought I was David Attenborough, so I should get in there quickly before they realised who I really was.

“I cannot think of an honour that I have ever had which has given me such great pleasure.

“In my daily work I see a lot of destruction and cruelty and stupidity – a lot of the destroying of good things of the earth. To play a part in planting something like this is absolutely marvellous.”

Three years after Hallam Street played host to the first trees in 2009, dozens of Marylebone streets have now been lined with greenery.

While two-thirds of the funding for the project came from the Westminster Tree Trust and Westminster Council, £80,000 was donated by local residents, businesses and organisations.

Weymouth Street resident and W1W Tree Planting Initiative organiser Mark Gazaleh said: “I never thought that we would reach the 500-tree target.

“When we planted the first trees in 2009 I was really surprised by the support we received.

“I’m really proud that as a team we could produce something that the community liked so much.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Thursday, March 5, 2015
'Gift Horse' by Hans Haacke has become the tenth sculpture to be installed on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth, in London [Photograph by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire]

The giant blue cockerel ‘Hahn/Cock’ that loomed over Trafalgar Square has been replaced with a new statue - a skeletal horse that shows the stock exchange prices.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
The fish is a grey koi carp like these ones - and is half a metre long! [Photograph by Ingrid Taylor]

A man reported his pet fish stolen today - but officers thought the situation was a bit, well, fishy.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Do you recognise this man?

A six-year-old boy was sexually assaulted by a drunken pervert with a large belly after going to the toilet in a King’s Cross community centre.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The usual suspects

In the run-up to the general election, we’ve decided to tell you what you really want to know about David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage, Natalie Bennett and Nick...Someone based on Google searches.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Police want to speak to this man in connection with an incident that left a man needing 15 stitches [Photograph from British Transport Police]

A man needed 15 stitches after he was hit in the face with a glass thrown at someone else outside the Hamilton Hall pub in Liverpool Street station.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Jonny Quinn has revealed how his band were taught to use Twitter to their advantage by the Brit-winning musician.

Read more

The boyband will embark on a UK tour in October.

Read more

The advert celebrated Fanta’s inception in Germany 75 years ago – you do the maths.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

(Not guaranteed)

Mothers Day is fast approaching, so we’ve rounded up some unusual and beautiful gifts for you to dazzle the most important woman in your life come March 15th.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

The advert celebrated Fanta’s inception in Germany 75 years ago – you do the maths.

Nick Clegg announced on St Piran’s Day – the patron saint of tin miners – that he would form a “Cornish Assembly”.

The USA has stationed troops in Korea since the 1950s. A number of Koreans think it’s time they left.

Quirky London