Planting on Queensbridge road and Middleton road E8 (FOI-4293)
Dear ***** *****
Re: Freedom of Information Request.
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, received 9 October 2019. Your request has been considered and our response is in bold below.
You requested the following:
FOI regards the planting on Queensbridge road and Middleton road E8. The concrete planters were built in conjunction with the re structure of the crossing Queensbridge road and Middleton road, they were then left without any planting at all until spring 2019 when some trees were planted amongst the weeds already growing. The trees were planted at a bad time just before the spring and summer heat so they haven"t established well at all. None of the established weeds were cleared at the time of tree planting and over summer the weeds have exploded in the planters, some as high as the new trees. This is not a "wild" type perennial planting it"s all clearly just weeds. The planters on Middleton road near London fields have never had any trees or shrubs planted-they are just bare soil, basically used as dog toilets or cars turning points. With the ongoing community anti pollution schemes and the greening and anti pollution project of Queensbridge primary school the planters are an eyesore, looking sad and unkept. 1. Please could you advise about next steps and planned schedule for the planters and planting? 2. How many trees Hackney council are planning to plant as well as the budget for this 2019/2020? 4. Any plans to take part in the nationwide tree planting the 30 November 2019? 5. Hackney council must have some plans to clear weeds from the planters and plant some shrubs and perennials? 6. Other plans that would help with pollution as well as creating a nicer environment for the 520 school children at Queensbridge Primary School as well as residents around the crossing?
The Council’s Response
Queensbridge Road - Planters
Although the tree planting exercise started late in the spring of 2019, we are please to say that it was fully completed and has been intensely watered over the summer period with no losses. This project brought together all the major aspects of the scheme that we promised to deliver to residents. The project enabled the planting of 42 new trees in the vicinity of Queensbridge School on Queensbridge Road between Albion Drive and Middleton Road junctions.
The concept of the scheme was to create an improved environment around Queensbridge School with improvements in air quality, and that would act as a buffer zone whilst creating a much needed wildlife corridor. Which in turn, increases the biodiversity and helps tackle climate change. The beds have been designed with a sustainable urban drainage system (SUD"s) to capture storm-water runoff and reduce an element of flash flooding.
The provision of the green infrastructure has been looked at in all of the above terms for increases in tree canopy and a rewilding method for naturalist wildflower layer, which establishes quicker and has identified over 40 plants growing mainly self-seeded. We certainly don"t look at areas as weed covered and would point you in the direction of Richard Mabey one of our greatest nature writers and Director of Common Ground Charity would convey a different outlook "WEEDS". We look at inclusive planting which creates a richer habitat to help the biodiversity for insects and bees for pollination, as well as the tree provision, for which some of the species chosen are nectar rich in flowering.
We have deliberately left the wild plants that have grown naturally within the beds from latent seed in the soil, which was sourced and wind-blow from the area (see picture attached prior to any planting taking place). This has not been seen as negative from the local community and we are due to undertake maintenance to the beds. In providing naturalistic wildflower plots which establish and have extremely rich ecological value in their diversity, as an open mosaic habitat for biodiversity.
The provision of a natural wild flower layer has to establish in the first instance with seeding following flowering and it is planned to undertake a autumn cut now that the seeding has taken place. The species of shrub/tree layer has been selected to provide a multi layered canopy to form an understory with mid-storey and eventual high canopy for the many benefits they will all provide.
Middleton Road - Planters
As part of a greening project for the area, we have also planted 49 new trees on Middleton Road and to also green and combat air quality matters within the area of Queensbridge. This will see the provision of linking two schools Gayhurst and Queensbridge together with a green chain of over 115 new street trees.
The planter beds "Rain Gardens" on Queensbridge Road are due to be cut imminently and the wildflower provision is only going to increase and will continue to do so in a very short space of time.
Middleton Road "Rain Garden" which you have shown a picture of empty was planted up on the 11 of October (see picture attached).
1. Please could you advise about next steps and planned schedule for the planters and planting?
Please refer to the above for explanation and pictures
2. How many trees Hackney council are planning to plant as well as the budget for this 2019/2020?
500 - street trees - £350,000:00
200 - park trees - £48,269:00
4. Any plans to take part in the nationwide tree planting the 30 November 2019?
The authority is planning a small planting with the Tree Musketeers and Councillors on Hackney Marshes on the 30 November
We are also planning for January, a mass planting of 6,000 whips on Hackney Marshes in partnership with Trees for Cities, Tree Musketeers, Hackney Marsh User Group
5. Hackney council must have some plans to clear weeds from the planters and plant some shrubs and perennials?
Please refer to the above for the explanation of weeds and areas which have been planted up. The authority is managing this site along with others within the borough, as a wild flower plot which is cut twice a year following establishment.
- Mow twice a year cut after flower heads have seeded a midsummer cut taken June/early July to ground level with aftermath cut in October and sward raked off and removed from site.
- Cut back from the carriageway and footway edge 8 times in growing season as required and 1 cut in March prior to end of financial year as required.
- 2 visits per site for Leaf removal from grassed areas during Autumn/Winter period.
- Remove litter and extraneous material on each quarterly visit.
6. Other plans that would help with pollution as well as creating a nicer environment for the 520 school children at Queensbridge Primary School as well as residents around the crossing?
Please refer to the above in explanation for Queensbridge Road - Middleton Road Planters. The Council has also contributed towards a Green Screen at the school.
The Council to seek to consult on a School Street in Albion Drive outside the school entrance.
Hackney will seek to reduce NO2 emissions to achieve the National Air Quality objective of 40mg/m3 or less and work with the Mayor of London to meet maintain compliance with the national air quality objectives. Transport-related emissions of NO2, CO2, PM10 and PM2.5 will all be monitored as part of the delivery of this LIP.
Reduce NOx emissions in Hackney from the current 530 tonnes to 160 tonnes by 2021 and 20 tonnes by 2041.
Reduce CO2 emissions in Hackney from the current 126,700 tonnes to 104,800 tonnes in 2021 and 25,900 by 2041
Reduce PM10 emissions in Hackney from the current 40 tonnes to 32 tonnes by 2021 and 18 tonnes by 2041
Reduce PM2.5 emissions in Hackney from the current 23 tonnes to 15 tonnes by 2021 and 9 tonnes by 2041
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