NCS – The Challenge: Tree planting Campaign in Roundwood Park

The heat wave this week in London culminated in some good, soaking rain which prepared the ground for some tree planting. This year saw the National Citizen Service’s 2019 Team Perham launch a Teratrees campaign to plant 30 silver birches in Roundwood Park. The team did various activities to raise awareness including a sponsored walk through Hyde Park and a petition targeting shoppers at a SW London mall. After being the winning pitch for their business idea they finally could plant the baby trees this morning.

With help from Peter McManus of Veolia at Roundwood Park, wheelbarrows, spades and stakes were assembled. In 10 years time this should be a sizeable grove when combined with the previous NCS students’ efforts. Congratulations to this team of young adults and well done for their tree planting and making a difference to the local environment.

teenagers planting trees

Planting silver birches in Roundwood Park
Finished planting trees!
NCS The Challenge 2019 Team Perham – job done!

Trees planted and wheelbarrows loaded!

Treeplanting as a Climate Solution

While previously dismissed, recent articles have now given this idea some further credence. Through analysing spare ground on which trees could grow, researchers estimated 1.2 trillion trees could be planted. This amount would make a significant difference to the carbon present in the atmosphere, which is in the form of CO2. The name of Teratrees was originally inspired along these lines, with one tera of trees needed!

Tree planting is a simple and cheap solution

‘Star’ status and Merry Christmas!

After working with the National Citizen Service for another summer with The Challenge and re-connecting young people to Nature, Teratrees has been rated a STAR partner after excellent feedback!

STAR status!

We believe it is our relationship to Nature that counts. This is at the root of our environmental woes. 

As the last post for the year, we would also like to wish you a merry Christmas and a great festive season.  As a last thought for the year, we also ask you to think about what your relationship to Nature is, and what this means for how you will act in the world.

Best wishes.

Mass Planting of Trees

To plant multiple trees usually depends on a large amount of people, the use of technology, or a combination of both. These routes will be looked at here, first looking at India.

In India last year, 1.5 million volunteers planted 66 million trees in 12 hours, which is most likely a new record. Saplings of 20 different species were place along the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh. This is an example which shows what can be done with political will and a recognition of what is needed in this time of anthropogenic climate change. India is third in the world for carbon emissions.

mass tree planting

1.5 million volunteers making a great change.

Another route being explored for mass planting is the use of drones. The startup Biocarbon Engineering uses drone technology to fire seed pods into the ground, with follow-up care done by local communities. A hectare of planting can be covered in 15 minutes, with preferred projects of 100 hectares. One hundred thousand pods can be planted in a day. This technological route bodes well for the future, although care is still needed to make a seed grow into a tree.

drone planting trees

A drone linked to mapping technology can plant a hectare of seed pods in 15 minutes. [Biocarbon Engineering]

A third route, is to combine humans and technology to achieve large scale planting. This is what we are working on at Teratrees, which also has the advantage of connecting young people to Nature. We believe through many humans and the internet, many projects can be initiated, and we continue to work towards this goal.

silver birch whips

A team of students surveying their handiwork in a local London park.


Sinclair House Students Green Bishops Park

On a frosty Tuesday morning, 41 young students from Sinclair House School led by the Pastoral Deputy Head, Ms Charlotte Wheeler, made their way to Bishops Park. Armed with trowel and big smiles, they proceeded to plant 60 native hornbeam trees to help the park with their hedge. Hedges are also important for wildlife ecosystems such as birds.

planting hornbeams with Teratrees

Smiling faces after 60 native hornbeams are planted


The Council were much appreciative as budgets are stretched, thus with the support of the parents of the students and teaching staff, these trees could be funded and planted. The trees will also have stakes and plastic tubes for protection.

One of the objectives of Teratrees is to connect children with nature, and this was a great success. Further projects may well occur in Bishops Park to help sustain the park and help with the local air quality.

A Grove of Silver Birches Planted by Team Sabesan!

It was great to see an organised bunch of students plant 30 silver birches in Roundwood Park as part of The Challenge (NCS). This will be a future grove of trees in the park and this species grow supporting each other and enriching the soil. A number of locals walking in the park stopped by and issued words of encouragement!


tree planting

Present spades!

silver birch whips

Team Sabesan of the The Challenge survey their handiwork.



Team Sabesan of the NCS launch a Teratrees Campaign!

This week Team Sabesan as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS – The Challenge), is running a Teratrees campaign to plant more trees and green the local community of Brent!

National Citizen Service

This enthusiastic group of students from the local neighbourhood are looking for support (online and offline) to help them achieve this goal.

They will be looking to plant 30 silver birches in Roundwood Park as a green investment in the area and in the process also connect with Nature.

Your support will be much appreciated by them, by the Brent community and by the local fauna and flora who will appreciate this boost to the park! In a few years local air quality will also be helped by these trees. These trees also help bring nutrients to the surface of the soil and stabilise the ground during heavy rain.

To support their campaign online via this website, please follow the easy steps below:

  1. Register and login to Teratrees via the Home page.
  2. Top-up with Tera. Each tree will be selling for 100 Tera (£5). Note VAT will be added to your top-up.
  3. Click on the Sabeseeds campaign in the Campaign tab. Details will appear in the lower window. Then click on the green tick for Buy, to support one of their silver birches!
  4. Once the tree has been planted by the students it will appear in your own profile called My Garden (part of the My Teratrees tab).

Many thanks and best of luck to Team Sabesan!

Birch grove

The students will create a lovely grove of birches.






Team Perham from The Challenge Plant 50 Silver Birch Trees

On Thursday 3 August a group of young adults from the NCS The Challenge met in Roundwood Park in the Borough of Brent to complete their Teratrees campaign. They first prepared the holes digging with spades and then planted the cell-grown trees (whips), ensuring the bottom of the small stem was level with the ground.

Tree planting

Digging holes and planting baby silver birches

After the trees were in the ground they protected them with plastic tubes and stakes, which should offer some protection in case a dog comes charging through!

tree planting

Surveying their work – 50 trees planted!

Silver birch are hardy trees and will have a better chance of surviving the summer planted together. They also support each other drawing up nutrients deep in the soil. Ideally trees are planted from Autumn until Spring, but The Challenge runs in the school holidays.

Tubular protection

Great job Team Perham!

Many thanks to Brent Council for helping this project move ahead and to Veolia, who manage the park services and who will keep an eye on the trees as well as some occasional watering.



The National Citizen Service Launch a Teratrees Campaign

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a programme engaging 15 – 17 year olds across the country and in 2016 became on ‘permanent statutory footing’ indicating the UK government’s commitment and recognition of the benefits of the NCS. Over 200 000 young people have taken part in it since its inception and it is now recommended by UCAS to bolster personal statements.

National Citizen Service

One key programme of the NCS is called The Challenge. This is an exciting 3-week programme that involves outdoor adventures, learning new skills, and launcing social action projects. This year, Teratrees is a social action partner and the platform will be used by a group of 12 students from the Borough of Brent to green their community!

Silver birch

A row of silver birches (Betula pendula)

This group of young adults have now launced a campaign and will plant silver birches (Betula pendula) in Brent. As part of their skills development it creates a great opportunity for them to run their own campaign to engage the community to support them planting these trees. It also connects these students with nature, which is one of the key objectives of Teratrees.

To support their campaign and help green their London borough, follow these steps:

  1. Register and login to Teratrees
  2. Top up with our currency called Tera by clicking the Top up button. Note £1 is equal to 20 Tera.
  3. Click on the ‘NCS Stems‘ campaign in the Campaign tab. Trees will appear in the lower window.
  4.  In the lower window, click on the green tick green tick to buy a silver birch for 100 Tera
  5. Once they have planted your tree, it will appear in My Garden under the My Teratrees tab!

Silver birch have been purposefully selected as they are hardy trees when planted together and will have a good chance of surviving the summer. They will also be watered during the summer through watering contracts of Brent Council, via a special favor of Veolia. These trees will be planted in Roundwood Park.

Ursuline High School Launches a Campaign!

Ursuline High School

Ursuline High School’s Year 7 Student Council have launched a Teratrees campaign to green their grounds!

This campaign has seen the students compose their own letter to parents to encourage support, outlying the benefits of contact with nature and all that trees offer. The students also produced a Powerpoint presentation to present to the rest of the student body and will continue to market the campaign in Enterprise Week.

This campaign will run through to October, when the trees which have been supported, will be delivered and then planted by the students.

To see the campaign, register or login to Teratrees, and click on the UHS Goes Green campaign in the campaign tab. In the lower window will be the list of trees and shrubs. To support one of these first top-up with Tera (our virtual currency) via the Top-up button. After topping-up, a tree can be purchased by clicking on the green tick in the Buy column. After the students plant your tree it will appear in My Garden in the My Teratrees section!

This is a fantastic opportunity to support students’ contact with nature, while improving the Borough of Merton’s air quality and natural drainage systems. Many of the trees are native species to support England’s ecosystems and insect population.