Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000


It’s well-known that in the UK doing just 30 minutes of activity a day (5 days/week) can help reduce the chance of heart-related diseases and obesity, improve overall health and increase how long we live. Specifically, in London, this is very important as recognised by the shift to create more journeys by foot to ease pressure on transport and the environment.

TreeTalk wants to be there every step of the way to help make this happen. We are about encouraging discovery and creating change.

TreeTalk has been set up by a group of people that want to open up the world of trees, share their beauty, but also link them practically to our everyday, busy, lives.

TreeTalk has been developed using tree data from the Greater London Authority (GLA) to give residents of Southwark the opportunity to get out of the house, use their feet and find interesting and green streets whilst learning about trees.

What makes TreeTalk unique is that you can find new walking routes, learn about the trees on your local roads, and our newly launched app can even speak to you and tell you about the trees as you are walking by them!

We’ve learned that by providing a reason to get out, we can bring about wider positive change. In this case, using your feet to learn about trees, educate yourself and your neighbours, is just the first step.

We’ve developed an Android app (supported by the website) which is simple to use. Simply give your location, and the app will create a circular walk from your home, or any other address, and will take you past interesting trees in your local neighbourhood. Maybe you could use it to guide you from your office on a lunchtime stroll, or explore a part of London with which you are less familiar.

You can learn about trees such as the rare Nettle Tree (which despite its name doesn’t sting!). Its jagged leaves and green berries will be seen much more in the future as it has shown it can handle anything that the city and climate change can throw at it. Then there is the Strawberry Tree with its simultaneous flowers and fruit in the autumn. And yes, its fruit does look like strawberries! Maybe with TreeTalk you will discover your own ‘rare’ street tree walking your local roads?

We’ve just started at TreeTalk and would use the Aviva Community Fund to encourage more residents of Southwark to get out, walk, and learn about their environment. Specifically, we’d like to:

- Give members of the community an opportunity to experience the joys of discovery of a local tree walk with our tree guru Paul Wood;
- Get you to help us explore and understand the streets and help refine how to get more people out walking and exploring;
- To design and link up hand-crafted walks in the area and promote them to encourage usage;
- To make our routes even greener and more fascinating;
- To promote and show gains in health, e.g. steps taken daily; by integrating a step counter;
- And to build the depth of tree library, e.g. imagery & content;

You can help us explore these topics and help share your passion for walking with others.

All the above points are ambitious, but we are dedicated to making change and we see these as the first steps towards that.

We are currently focusing on the London borough of Southwark as this has the most complete data available, however we would like to grow so that our bigger community, London, can eventually benefit.

Please vote for us. Together we can create change and create a better way of living in and moving through Southwark!

Project Video


Moment of Pride

We’re proud of this project as we're working to give everyone in Southwark appreciation of the amazing variety to be found just beyond their front doors. We believe we are breaking new ground in helping residents to discover ways to experience their city, bringing nature into their daily lives.

Location: London Borough of Southwark, United Kingdom