Trees for rivers: a new woodland for London

Click here to see this year’s planting events.

Thames21 is working in partnership with Enfield Council to restore Enfield Chase, 60 hectares of former royal hunting ground in the Salmon’s Brook catchment, part of the greater River Lea catchment. This is London’s largest reforestation project.

Restoring the tree cover and constructing more than 20 rural SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Schemes ) will not only cut flood risk for businesses and homes downstream – it will also boost  the health of the Salmon’s Brook. With the help of many volunteers, we reached our target of planting 50,000 trees between November 2020 and March 2021. Planting for the next 50,000 starts in November 2021. Follow the Friends of Enfield Chase for regular updates.

Rewilding a degraded landscape

The area was deforested more than two hundred years ago and is now made up of arable fields with some grazed pasture. Despite the best efforts and intentions, some conventional farming practices result in soil and nutrient erosion which flows into the local watercourses, threatening aquatic life. Drainage systems and straightened watercourses have encouraged water to flow swiftly off the land and into the river, increasing flood risk to thousands of homes and businesses downstream.

Our plans to increase tree cover in Enfield

Building London’s resilience

Working with the local farmers, Enfield Council, the Forestry Commission, and a woodland design consultant, areas have been identified where tree planting can reduce flood risk and improve water quality. By combining areas of mixed density native tree planting with areas of natural regeneration, meadows, ponds, and swales (ditches) we aim to create a rich and diverse ecosystem.

This huge new area of high quality green-blue space will benefit thousands of residents, as well as attracting and protecting wildlife. The diverse ecosystem, combined with natural flood management measures holding and slowing water flow further up the catchment, makes the landscape more resilient to drought and high rainfall events, which are increasing in frequency and severity due to climate change.

Photo taken at the site in December 2020

Community Tree Planting Events

Click on the links below to register for an event, or see the events on a calendar view here.

As well as the planting sessions below, we also run a regular volunteer day every Wednesday with the Friends of Enfield Chase, and all the way up to the planting season we’ll be doing lots of preparation tasks, such as putting out stakes, marking planting areas etc. See the event calendar and look for ‘Enfield Chase Tree Care’.

We’ll be adding more dates as we firm up the schedule – we should be planting from mid-November to January or February, so please do check again later if you don’t see the dates you want.

Questions about community tree planting? Email: trees@thames21.org.uk