Croydon Council is going to spend £900,000 on planting 3,500 new trees across the borough in the next five years.

The authority is set to plant an average of 700 trees per year between 2018 and 2023, at an annual cost of £180,000, to improve air quality in Croydon.

By the time all 3,500 trees have been planted, the council will have spent £900,000.

The first three trees were planted this week in Norwich Road in Thornton Heath, and while details of when and where each tree will be planted have not yet been announced, areas with poor air quality are set to get more trees first.

This means that the town centre and surrounding areas, as well as the borough’s more northern wards, are likely to be proritised.

Other tree locations that will be considered include road junctions across the borough with higher pollution levels, as well as sites requested by local councillors and residents.

Approximately another 250 trees will be planted in the next few months, and the remainder of this year’s batch, which will each start at about three metres high, will be put in place next winter.

Cllr Stuart King planting one of the first saplings
Cllr Stuart King planting one of the first saplings (Image: Stuart King)

Tree varieties will include cherry, plane, and maple.

The council has also recently appointed a new tree planting officer, whose job will involve co-ordinating where to put the 3,500 new trees and making sure they are healthy, to help with the project.

The move to plant the trees has made in a bid to improve the quality of air in the borough, making it “more attractive and less polluted”, according to Councillor Stuart King, the council’s cabinet member for transport and environment.

Over the next five years, more electric car charging points will also be installed across the borough to help improve air quality.