Hammersmith park wins a ‘Tree Oscar’ thanks to local volunteers

The Friends of Margravine Cemetery won a prestigious honour at the London Tree and Woodlands Awards.

Pictured From left to right: Manoj Malde, Ruth Savery, Eileen Moore, Sir William Worsley (Forestry Commission Chair), Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor of London

The Friends of Margravine Cemetery won a prestigious honour at the London Tree and Woodlands Awards.

The recent ceremony – nicknamed the ‘Tree Oscars’ – is designed to celebrate local wildlife champions. The award singled out the Hammersmith volunteers for the best community tree project, saying it helped to ‘preserve and expand’ London’s urban forests.

“We regularly plant, then love and care for our new trees throughout each year,” explained Ruth Savery, who accepted the award on behalf of the 200-strong group.

She was joined on stage by fellow park friends Eileen Moore, Nathalie Mahieu and Tony Pursey as they collected their trophy. “We were surprised and delighted to receive the award,” she added.

The Friends of Margravine Cemetery work closely with the Parks team at Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Ruth Savery accepts the award

Green lung

Spanning 16.5 acres – or the size of nine football fields – Margravine Cemetery welcomes around 4,000 visitors every day.

Located near to Charing Cross Hospital, the park is a popular lunch break destination for staff and students. “We have a thriving Friends group which actively works with the council to promote this beautiful green space and all its assets,” she explained.

Since forming in 2006, the group has planted around 12 trees a year as well as heding, a mixture of species including native oaks and cherries – and a copper beech to mark the Coronation of King Charles III. Once in leaf, the Friends keep the new trees weeded and watered.

The cemetery’s 400 trees help clean our air, while new thickets and native hedging provide a home to insects and nesting birds.

The Friends of Margravine Cemetery planted a copper beech to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles III

Award-winning community

Margravine Cemetery is rich in biodiversity and history. It forms part of the Barons Court Conservation area and is home to Fanny Eaton’s final resting place – Britain’s first Black supermodel. Visit the Black History 365 webpage to learn more.

The park Friends also offer tree walks, picnics and activities to help residents connect with nature. “We have, amongst our members, an active team of gardeners,” Ruth said. “People often discover all sorts of interests within the group.”

You can join them on Sundays from 11am to 12pm to help create space for bees and butterflies while keeping invasive species at bay.

Cllr Sharon Holder (right) unveils the Fanny Eaton memorial in Margravine Cemetery

Become a Friend

More than a dozen park friends groups are dotted around the borough. Find your nearest one here.

Residents who would like to join Friends of Margravine Cemetery, volunteer some time or give a donation, can get in touch on info@margravinecemetery.org.uk.

Or visit the Friends of Margravine Cemetery website.

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