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Waterloo Tree Planting Survey


Waterloo and South Bank Ward has the lowest levels of tree canopy cover within all of Lambeth at just 11%. This is far below the Lambeth average of 17% and London average of 21%. This disproportionately low canopy cover can leave Waterloo largely unprotected to waves of intense heat and the effects of the climate crisis. The cooling effects of the proximity of the river are inhibited by larger buildings and the general built environment, which leaves Waterloo reaching some of the highest measures of climate and heat vulnerability in all of London.

GLA Grant Funding

In late 2022, SoWN in partnership with WeAreWaterloo and LB Lambeth applied for grant funding from the GLA to plant up to thirty new street trees across Waterloo, as part of a fund dedicated to improving climate resilience across London. This application was successful and SoWN was awarded almost £30,000 to cover the capital costs of the project. From this point, the project is being managed by WeAreWaterloo’s public realm team in close partnership with SoWN and LB Lambeth.

The grant fund application specified that we would target streets with little or no canopy cover, and after a walk around with representatives of SoWNs Environment group, we established that the priority areas of low canopy cover are Lower Marsh, Waterloo Road, Westminster Bridge Road, Hercules Road and Lambeth Road.

After a further walk around with LB Lambeth’s Tree Officers, a total of 25 possible locations for street planting were identified. Inevitably, not all of these locations will be possible to plant within due to underground utilities. In addition, locations are selected to ensure they do not impede any footpath, and leave at least 2m of clear walking room when all parts of the tree pit are taken into consideration. General sitelines and sitelines of CCTV cameras have also been taken into account for all locations. The identified locations are below:

Lower Marsh:

1. O/S 1 Lower Marsh (Mindset) - next to the motorbike parking bay
2. O/S 2 Lower Marsh (Former Topwind shop) - next to the Santander Cycle docking station
3. O/S 4 Lower Marsh (Rymans) - next to the Santander Cycle docking station
4. O/S 21 Lower Marsh
5. O/S 23-24 Lower Marsh (Nox Hotel) - next to the cycle racks
6. O/S 33 Lower Marsh (Valerio)  -  next to the existing parklet
7. O/S 35-41 Lower Marsh (Christian Aid)
8. O/S 35-41 Lower Marsh (Christian Aid)
9. O/S 35-41 Lower Marsh (Christian Aid)
10. O/S 35-41 Lower Marsh (Christian Aid)
11. Between 94-95 Lower Marsh (Toolshop & Greggs)
12. Between 92-94 Lower Marsh (Betfred & Greggs)
13. Between 91-92 Lower Marsh (Marie’s Cafe & Betfred)
14. Near Cubana where the existing “sLower Marsh” planters are

Waterloo Road:

15. Between 117-119 Waterloo Road (GBK & Mercury House)
16. Between 107-109 Waterloo Road (Reeds of London & Tesco)

Westminster Bridge Road:

17. O/S 160 Westminster Bridge Road

Hercules Road:

18. O/S 201 Hercules Road
19. O/S Arches 197-202 Hercules Road
20. O/S Arches 197-202 Hercules Road
21. O/S Arches 197-202 Hercules Road
22. O/S Arches 197-202 Hercules Road (within the existing modal traffic filter planting)
23. O/S Arches 197-202 Hercules Road (within the existing modal traffic filter planting)
24. O/S Arch 182 Hercules Road
25. O/S Arch 182 Hercules Road (on the opposite pavement)

Maps of the locations are available at the bottom of the page.

Local Stakeholder Survey

We are now collecting feedback and support to allow us to conduct feasibility underground utilities surveys and select final tree locations. The link to the survey is available here: and will run until 11.05.23.

Additional Information

As Waterloo and South Bank Ward has such low canopy cover, LB Lambeth have prioritised tree planting throughout the ward, and have independently begun replanting tree pits that are empty, or have ground out old stumps and subsequently replanted them. We expect to be planting trees from our fund this October, with the tree pits created throughout summer. The work currently taking place and any work outside of this timeline or our designated areas will not be associated with our grant funded work.

The trees have a robust maintenance plan for when they are planted. They will be inspected weekly by the WeAreWaterloo green team, and every year by a level 3 qualified Arboriculturalist, in the form of a comprehensive visual inspection. All tree inspections are carried out from the ground. Where necessary, an aerial inspection will be carried out to further assess areas of the tree which cannot be reasonably assessed from the ground.

The trees will be pruned every three years or more (depending on need), during the dormant season.

During the first 3 years, to help them to establish in their new location each tree will receive 50L of water per week via a Gator-bag, from the beginning of April to the end of September. This will be provided by WeAreWaterloo’s green team, however, through SoWN’s residential network, WeAreWaterloo’s business network and Lambeth’s Community Champions scheme we hope to enlist community volunteers who will “adopt” and water a designated tree each week.

To learn more about the project please contact

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