Tom and his partner Sarah ask:
“Sarah and I would like to plant a tree, or maybe several,to mark the passing of Sarah’s grandmother over the summer.
Wondered if you (or your readers) know of anywhere in Greenwich (where we also live) where this might be possible?”
The Phantom replies:
The most obvious is the Royal Park. They have several sponsorship schemes from just generally supporting all the trees to dedicating a personal or family tree. Greenwich Industrial History Society have just done just that recently, I see.
Sadly, it would seem you can’t put a plaque under ‘your’ tree at the moment. My suggestion for Greenwich Park would be the newly-cleared Dwarf Orchard, which I believe will be planted up with heritage fruit trees – if you could dedicate one of those it would be really rather special.
Of course there are the local parks – if Sarah’s grandmother had a favourite local park, it might be worth contacting Greenwich Council parks department. I can’t see that they have a formal scheme, but sometimes I find it hard to navigate around the council website so it’s entirely possible I’ve missed it.
Oxleas Wood would also come under Greenwich Council, I believe; I don’t know if they have any planting schemes – maybe something around Sevendroog Castle, when the restoration comes to fruition (hopefuly soon…)
I’ve been trying to find out who looks after the Thames Path. It seems to be the National Trails Office. They happily accept donations, but I can’t see any tree sponsorship schemes.
I did look at the Mayor’s Street Tree programme but I don’t think it’s for you – it appears to be somewhere where you nominate places you’d like to see a tree.
Trees For Cities have a tree dedication scheme, but the nearest project I can find to us seems to be Peckham/ Nunhead.
It’s possible local schools or museums have projects, but they’re keeping quiet about them. Maybe someone here knows a local scheme?
Further afield, the Woodland Trust are creating a Victory Wood in Hampshire – the Greenwich link is that Nelson’s body rested there on its way to London.
You’d have thought it would be easy to dedicate a tree – after all there always seem to be benches and tree-plaques wherever you go these days. It seems that the practicalities are a bit harder.
I’m pretty sure, though, that if you saw a beautiful public place you’d like to plant a tree, it would be well worth an ask…