Urban forest develops


An underused piece of land in Langley is set to become a nature haven as trees and flowers are to be planted and walkway created to explore it.

The beautified area will be created as part of the Slough Urban Forest which has been created from Urban Tree Challenge Fund where thousands of trees have been planted in the borough. 

This was made possible after securing £500,000 from the Forestry Commission more than a year ago which was match funded by the council creating a £1million fund. 

Many trees have already been planted in 31 locations across 13 wards which will reach a total of 9,051 over four years. The borough was just one of 13 local authorities to awarded funds.

The forest planting will be the catalyst to fund and develop the Hawker Hill field and recreation area in front of Linden House, where the council working with housing association Abri, and behind Foxborough Primary School.

As part of the initiative the land will be cleared of rubbish and fly-tipping and a boardwalk path created through the woodland and a wildflower labyrinth as well as a number of trees.

There is also the potential for multi-generational playground equipment and a clearer path around the field. 

As part of the development there is the possibility of installing a memorial to mark the historical significance of Hawker Hill.

Residents who have any knowledge to share about the connection of Hawker Hill and Langley which might be fitting for the memorial to mark the historical context, are being asked to get in touch.

Cllr Rob Anderson, lead member for sustainable transport and the environment, said: “Taking an area which has seen better days and turning it into a place where people can spend time is a great way to get maximum benefit from the Urban Forest.

“This is not only going to look better but the benefits from planting these trees will be felt for generations to come.

“If we can get a memorial and people sharing their knowledge of the area that is even better.”

The trees due to be planted across the borough include birch, oak, spruce, pine, rowan, beech, and hawthorn and will be of different ages from whips of under a metre tall and feather standards, of almost two metres, to standard trees up to three metres tall. 

The project will lead to collaborations with community groups and residents with planting days along with climate change workshops and digital monitoring of what will be known as Urban Forest sectors.

The main aim of the forest is to improve air quality, improve carbon capture, provide education and training opportunities and increase biodiversity.

To share history any memories of Hawker Hill for a memorial please email utcf@slough.gov.uk or call Rebecca Curley on 07523936077.

Published: 19 March 2021