Trees of the Rebellion: Garden Bridge - Extinction Rebellion UK

Trees of the Rebellion: Garden Bridge

Back in April, trees and plants of all shapes and sizes were transported to The Garden Bridge (Waterloo) for the week of International Rebellion.

Their presence helped transform the bridge into the “friendly, vibrant and verdant” oasis it became for the thousands of rebels and visitors to the bridge. The original trees were added to by numerous plants brought by people as they joined in the rebellion. By ‘deleting the cars’ and inviting people to ‘come and play’, XR made ‘the best Garden Bridge’.

Hoopla Pocket Park, Lambeth. Photo by Mak Gilchrist

The original 47 trees, many of which came into celebratory blossom during their watch over the bridge, were chosen in part for their ability to sequester CO2 and help to alleviate air pollution.

The trees were also selected for their association with protest: there were crab apples, hazel, cherry, dogwood, and Austrian pine. In the early 1900’s, the Suffragettes planted a grove of trees near Bath, Annie’s Arboretum, which included one Austrian Pine for each person from the suffrage movement who had been imprisoned. ‘At least 47 trees were planted between April 1909 and July 1911‘ to commemorate women released from prison after hunger strikes.

Hoopla Pocket Park, Lambeth. Photo by Liam Geary Baulch

Since International Rebellion, The Garden Bridge trees and plants were offered by XR to local community gardens and schools across London, where they have found themselves welcome new homes.

The Grenfell Commemorative Community Garden now has two of the special Malus protest trees. Local resident and founding gardener Marcia Robinson said:

“We’re very proud to be given two of the trees from Waterloo Bridge protest because this is protest land too.”

Find out more about Trees4Grenfell here.

Grenfell Commemorative Community Garden tree planting. Photo by Mak Gilchrist

Other gardens included XR Hackney Community Garden, and the Hoopla Pocket Park, Lambeth. Since then, more trees have been offered for rewilding and greening cities and there is an active XR Guerilla Gardening group, with many regional groups.

Get involved and get planting!

Hoopla Pocket Park, Lambeth. Photo by Liam Geary Baulch

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