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Tideway and Trees for Cities work together to bring environmental benefits to London

The company delivering London’s new ‘super sewer’ to help tackle sewage discharges into the River Thames is joining forces with a leading environmental charity to help plant hundreds of trees in London.

Tideway is working with Trees for Cities, the largest urban tree planting charity in the UK, to identify suitable locations for more than 300 trees to be planted across the city.

In addition, Tideway has already planted 65 trees in advance of the main construction as part of Tideway’s commitment to put more trees back than they need to remove for construction of the tunnel.

Mark Sneesby, Chief Operating Officer for Tideway, said: “Working with Trees for Cities is another step towards our overall objective of improving the environment in London to make the city fit for future growth. We want to do this by helping clean up the River Thames, and also ensuring we leave a wider environmental legacy.

“Part of that is about planting around 400 trees in the city – around double what we’ll need to remove, but as well as that we’ll also be leaving behind new areas of embankment for London to enjoy.”

David Elliott, Chief Executive at Trees for Cities, said: “This is a great opportunity to work alongside a project with so many long-term environment and ecological benefits for London. We look forward to seeing the growth of hundreds of new trees in London, as well as the new areas of public land the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel will create.  The partnership will focus on planting tree species that build resilience into London’s urban forest, provide large canopy cover for shade, and create a glorious display for Londoners to enjoy.”

With six of Tideway’s 24 construction sites up and running in 2016, preparation work to start tunnelling in 2018 is well under way, and the majority of the remaining sites will go live this year – stretching across London from Acton in the west, to Stratford in the east.

Formally known as the Thames Tideway Tunnel, the newest infrastructure project in London will be building up to 66m below ground, with the width of the tunnel when it’s built being big enough to fit three London double decker buses side by side.

Work to set up new sites at Chelsea Embankment, Victoria Embankment, Deptford Church Street and King Edward Memorial Park will see around 80 trees being removed over the next three weeks ahead of any nesting birds in spring.

In total, Tideway will be removing 198 trees over the next two years. Of the 65 trees already planted, the majority were planted in 2014 in Wandsworth and Ealing.

Construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel is anticipated to be completed by early 2025*. At peak construction, more than 4,000 direct and sustainable jobs will be created by the project.

*This article has been amended to reflect the project's updated completion date following an analysis of the impacts of the pandemic.