London Tree and Woodland Awards 2023

This evening, the UK Forestry Commission and Mayor of London hosted the annual Tree and Woodland Awards at City Hall, known as the “Tree Oscars”. These awards celebrate the work of individuals, communities and professionals to protect, improve and expand the capital’s tree and woodland cover. They aim to raise the profile of London’s trees and woodlands and their need for active management. The awards showcase the fantastic work taking place all over the city to protect and increase London’s urban forest.

I was extremely proud to see our friends and colleagues at the City of London Corporation recognised in 3 separate categories, including:

Dr. Helen Read – Winner: The ‘London Tree Officers Association’ Individual Commitment Award.

Burnham Beeches Conservation Officer, Helen Read, won the coveted ‘Individual Commitment Award’ in recognition of her 33 years of service to the London’s natural environment. In this role she has pioneered conservation practices with ancient trees and in wood pasture management.

Helen’s enthusiasm for trees and knowledge sharing has benefitted and influenced many tree practitioners across London and beyond. Her knowledge and experience combined with her eloquent advocacy has been a significant influence for national initiatives to safeguard veteran trees across the UK, through her participation in national and international conferences, training events and industry publications.  Helen’s leadership and editorial role in the Pollard and Veteran Tree Management Conference reports remain key reference documents 30 years on. More recently, she has been involved in establishing the Vet Cert qualification, as the definitive standard for ancient tree management professionals.

Beyond her long-standing role with the City of London, Helen was a Founding Director of the Ancient Tree Forum in 1998 and has served in many different voluntary roles to promote the protection, research, and conservation of ancient and other veteran trees. Helen also initiated a 15-year collaboration with arborists in the Basque Region of Spain to share knowledge and experience in re-pollarding lapsed beech pollards. This involved sharing research from her work at the City of London as well as trialling and assessing the use of traditional Basque approaches to pollarding in the UK. 

Mrs. Judith Adams – Winner: ‘Acorn Award’

The ‘Acorn Award’ is awarded to an individual member of the public who has made a particular contribution to promoting or conserving trees.  This can be an extraordinary individual who has shown dedication through voluntary involvement. 

Judy Adams is the Chair of the Epping Forest Heritage Trust. She has been inspiring and educating members of the public in tree preservation and the importance of London’s Great Forest in various roles for more than 48 years. She is currently the Chair of the Epping Forest Heritage Trust, where she supports the work of the City of London Corporation, as Conservators of Epping Forest.

City of London Environmental Resilience Team & British Geological Survey – Highly Commended: London Urban Forest Award

A joint project between the City of London Corporation’ Environmental Resilience Team and the British Geological Survey, funded as part of the UK Climate Resilience Programme was highly commended..

The aim of the project was to understand how much below ground space there is available for various climate resilient measures, such as tree planting and sustainable drainage systems. The mapping that the project produced is now being used to increase tree planting as part of the City Corporation’s Cool Streets and Greening Programme.

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