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Conservation of Native Black Poplar

The borough is host to one of the most important populations of Native Black Poplar in the country and we are committed to a conservation effort to safeguard the species.

Key to this conservation effort is the actions as set out within the Species Action Plan, as set out within the Borough’s Biodiversity Action Plan.

Halo clearance

We have been working with conservation specialist, Jamie Simpson of Trees and Woodlands to formulate a plan of works for this population and management of competing vegetation will now be carried out through the practice of halo clearance. This is the careful pruning and pollarding management of vegetation that is shading the established and next generation of native black poplars, this practice will also involve the coppicing and removal of smaller developing trees that pose a threat. It is important to note that this work may at first appear to be destructive, however this is an important step in a long-term conservation effort.

This work will be taking place from Monday 18 October 2021 and is likely to last for around three weeks.

For further information on the approach being taken view the Native black poplar conservation works report (pdf, 310 KB).

Tree planting

We are preparing to plant saplings which have been propagated from rare and unique native black poplar trees within the borough. The current programme, which is will be under-way over late December 2021 focusses on planting trees along the stretch of Barnes towpath, running between the junction of Queen Elizabeth Walk and the Harrods Depository. This planting is critical as it will introduce clones of genetically unique trees which are in situ on the tow path, which if they were lost to a natural event would mean that they are lost forever. In effect, this planting is an insurance policy aimed at protecting valuable material.

For further information on this initiative, see the Black Poplar Project for more information on the propagation project and the important work that has been carried out by the Friends of Barnes Common and Jamie Simpson in conjunction with Richmond Council and the Richmond Biodiversity Partnership.

Up to: Trees

Updated: 17 December 2021

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