Thirty-one trees have been planted in and off the streets of Luton in Chatham as part of a partnership between local organisations to mark National Tree Week. Species planted include pear and birch trees in the Castle and Listmas Roads with a selection of Ginkgo Biloba in the Maida Road area, the trees will now take a period of time to settle before reaching full maturity.

Next steps will include the local community, with support, looking after their future maintenance and care to help ensure they thrive in their new homes. Community group Arches Local with Medway Plus a local charity worked together with the UK’s largest independent social landlord, mhs homes, to plant the trees with their estates team led by Rhys Dejersey.

Stephen Perez, Arches Local Coordinator, said that best time to plant these trees was 15 years ago, the second-best time was now and by working together, that’s what we’ve achieved. We now look forward for many generations to come within our community to reap the benefits of this planting.

The trees have been carefully placed in a part of Medway that is either within or next to what is classified as an Air Quality Management Area, due to it experiencing poor air quality. These newly planted trees will not only help combat climate change globally, but locally clean the air by locking up carbon, help cool the area and improve the visual aspect of the area.

This work in part has been made possible by an award from People’s Postcode Trust, a grantgiving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We will look to further recognise them and our other supporters through various different methods, including bright tree labels pictured below which are coming soon and will be attached to each tree.  Keep an eye out for them as they will give more information on fun ways on how to get involved and details on the type of tree it is.

The Luton Urban Trees Project was delivered thanks to a combination of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Orchard Community Energy, PostCode Local Trust, and Local Ward Councillors. National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year) Arches Local was formed as part of the Big Local initiative, funded by the then National Lottery, to improve areas across England, including central Chatham, ending in 2026.