A rare 300 year old Black Poplar tree growing in Parklands, which was blown down in the recent high wind, is to be replaced by female Black Poplar trees grown in Thames Chase Community Forest’s recently refurbished tree nursery.

When Roy Brand, Chairman of The Friends of Parklands, was told about the Thames Chase Black Poplar project, he contacted Thames Chase and asked for a replacement sapling. Dave Birrell, conservation leader at Thames Chase, arranged with Parklands to plant a sapling of this fast-growing tree from the tree nursery.

The Black Poplar, also known as the Water Poplar, is an endangered native British tree species with only around 8000 trees in the country, only 200 of which are female Black Poplar trees. The four year Thames Chase project aims to successfully plant 200 female Black Poplars in the Community Forest area by 2020. So far we have grown 40 cuttings, obtained from Dagenham Chase’s Black Poplar Wood, into saplings ready to plant in selected locations within the Community Forest.

Thames Chase is a community forest conserving over 40 square miles of countryside across the Essex/East London border. Over the last 25 years, there has been a collaborative effort to regenerate this damaged landscape and enhance the natural environment for the benefit of local people and wildlife. The community forest has witnessed the planting of more than two million trees during this time, along with the creation of multiple ponds, meadows, footpaths and cycle routes for the enjoyment of all. The success of these projects is evident in the benefits experienced by the local community and in the wildlife which thrives in this more diverse habitat.

Thames Chase Trust charity no. 1115627