Trees for Cities

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Trees for Cities
Trees for Cities logo.gif
Formation 1993
Legal status Non-profit company and registered charity
Purpose Planting trees in deprived urban areas
Region served
UK, world
Chief Executive
David Elliot

Trees for Cities is a tree planting charity in the United Kingdom.


The charity was founded by a group of four friends: Jake Kempston, Belinda Winder, Jane Bruton & Julian Blake in 1993. The original inspiration came from Jake Kempston - but during the night of the 1992 UK general election, as results poured in, Jake approached the others to help him in a mission to 'plant more trees in London', for the first five or so years, the charity raised funds through its well-known and much-loved parties. The charity was initially called Trees for London[1] to "advance the education of the public in the appreciation of trees and their amenity value, and in furtherance of this the planting and protection of trees everywhere, and in particular inner city areas";[1] in 2003, the charity changed its name to Trees for Cities to reflect a growth in activities in cities across the UK and across the globe. In 2009, Sharon Johnson replaced Graham Simmonds as Chief Executive. Sharon was replaced by David Elliot as the Chief Exec in 2014.[2]

The charity has a history of unusual office locations. Originally based on HMS Belfast,[3] the charity now operates from Prince Consort Lodge, a house located in Kennington Park, Kennington, in London, England.


In addition to tree planting, the charity is involved in activities with schools and community groups, providing qualifications for trainees in horticulture, arboriculture and woodland management, and campaigning for trees.


Trees for Cities holds an annual Tree-athlon, a 5k annual fun[4] run which raises funds for Trees for Cities, it has been held in Leeds, Manchester and London, and on 18 September 2010 in Battersea Park set the world record for the largest ever barefoot race, with 278 participants completing a 100 m grass circuit.[5] The 2011 event was also held in London, in Battersea Park on 17 September, the charity has a number of high-profile patrons, including Neil Fox, Diarmuid Gavin, Jamie Oliver, Jon Snow and Richard Rogers.


Trees for Cities has projects throughout Greater London, as well as in Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Reading and Sheffield, the charity's global reach extends to Ica in Peru, La Paz in Bolivia, Nairobi in Kenya and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

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