The scale of the challenge

Merton has one of the highest proportions of tree cover of any London borough, covering 1040 hectares. That’s equivalent to 1,285 football pitches. But it is important to remember that vegetation in Merton, particularly our ~220,000 trees, only captures a small fraction (0.02%) of Merton's emissions each year

However, green and blue infrastructure, (everything from parks, woodlands, street trees and green roofs to streams, ponds, canals and other water bodies) provide significant environmental and wider benefits. This can include flood resilience, improved air quality, habitats for wildlife to improve biodiversity and beautiful open spaces that we all enjoy.

Through Merton’s Tree Strategy, we are aiming to increase tree cover by 10% by 2050, potentially equivalent to planting around 800 trees every year to 2050. The main opportunities to plant trees are likely to be on private land such as gardens, which hold around two thirds of the trees in Merton.

What we are doing  

Please see Workstream 5 of our Resident Summary Report, for everything we are doing to develop the green and blue infrastructure in Merton, to improve our ability to adapt to climate change and provide a home for Merton’s plant and animal life.

Subscribe to our climate action newsletter, if you would like to receive information about community climate action events, grant funding opportunities, local campaigns and much more.

What you can do

Step 1 - Green your own home or business, or support community tree planting

  • Maximise the amount of vegetation where possible: from adding a window box, to removing paving, installing a green roof or adding sustainable drainage on your land.
  • Plant trees on your land - planting a suitable tree can save several tonnes of carbon if allowed to grow to maturity.

Step 2 – Take action, get involved

Get involved - in the Climate Action Group, or join one of the many community-driven climate projects which are happening in the borough. You can check out what Sustainable Merton are up to and become one of their Community Champions. You can also find out more about voluntary services in Merton.

Bid for Funding - If you are part of a group who have great ideas for local climate projects, why not consider bidding for the next round of the council’s Community Climate Action Fund? The next round is due to open in Autumn 2024, but we recommend that residents and local organisations start developing their proposals as early as possible. See the 2023 bidding page here