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

Friday, March 6, 2015
The man was seen with a knife on the Central Line before moving onto the Jubilee Line (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Jubilee line was brought to a standstill today after passengers reported seeing a man carrying a knife.

Friday, March 6, 2015
The trampolie park will open in the summer in east London  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Boing boing! East London’s first ever indoor trampoline park will open this summer in Barking.

Friday, March 6, 2015
Teen victim Alan Cartwright

Two people arrested on suspicion of the murder of teenager Alan Cartwright who was stabbed to death while riding a bike in Islington have been released on bail.

Friday, March 6, 2015
Three men chased the victim in Pymmes Park, Edmonton (Pic: Google)

A 26-year-old man is in hospital after a vicious stabbing in Pymmes Park, Edmonton.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Masked allecats tear through the streets

Movie makers shooting a murder thriller about the underground sub-culture of London’s alleycat bike racing are in the final throws of crowdfunding to raise the cash before they begin filming later this month.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Yeah, we bet that headline made you panic. But don’t worry, here are 10 great ideas – but get that booking in fast!

Read more

Sadly, having a proficiency in “dank memes” and a recommendation from Chief Keef isn’t good enough for Harvard.

Read more

The boy’s mother doesn’t regret sending her child to school dressed as a character from an erotic novel.

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 boy’s mother doesn’t regret sending her child to school dressed as a character from an erotic novel.

No more traffic wardens “hiding in doorways”…

The Mayor reckons the horse symbolises the “dynamism of London” – does it?

Quirky London