Local children get green fingers at Danson Park

Children from two local primary schools yesterday (9 January) helped the Council to plant the first of many new trees set to grow in Danson Park in Welling.

School staff and 120 pupils from Hook Lane and Sherwood Primary Schools joined Bexley’s Tree team in the south of the park to plant 1,200 young saplings, measuring less than one metre tall. The Council hopes around 400 of these will become well established and grow into mature trees over the next 20 years.

The children got together in small groups, and each took turns to turn up the grass with their spades to plant the young trees safely into the soil.

The new native species, including Field Maple, Common Crab apple, Mountain Ash and Bird Cherry, replace larger growing woodland trees like Oak, Elm and Poplars that once grew in this part of the park.  The new trees will in time create new wildlife habitats. 

Cllr Peter Craske, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Environment and Leisure, said: “Planting new trees helps to make Bexley even greener, as well as more welcoming to local people and visitors. The wide variety of smaller trees we’re adding to Danson Park will provide new habitats to attract a variety of wildlife and bring a healthy, balanced woodland area to the south of the park. 

“We have made sure the trees are a good distance from the housing next to the park and we’ll be working to maintain and gradually thin out the new trees with the aim of establishing 400 of the strongest. 

“Over time, trees die or become diseased, so it’s been great to involve local school children in planting new trees that will reach maturity when they become adults with their own families. This has got to be one of the best ways of caring for Danson Park and ensuring it continues to be home to a rich variety of native trees.”

The trees have been provided through the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund, in partnership with the Conservation Volunteers, which is providing thousands of trees free of charge for local community groups to plant across London. 

Friends of Danson Park and the Sidcup, Crayford, Erith and Bexley Rotary Clubs and the Council together claimed 2,400 trees through the scheme for Danson Park.

The next event on Saturday 27 January will see groups including Friends of Danson Park, Bexley Police Cadets, the Rotary Clubs, and local Scouts, all helping to plant the remaining young trees. Local residents are welcome to join in too, so be sure to bring your boots and spades! 

Sherwood Primary School students
Sherwood Primary School students
Hook Lane Primary School students
Hook Lane Primary School students