Kennington Park opened in 1854, it was South London's first park. It has a wide variety of now mature and historic trees. In August 2017 Trees for Cities in a joint project with Lambeth Council and the Friends of Kennington Park surveyed the 480 trees in the park and park extension. In November 2017 volunteers planted 20 new trees in the Heritage Park, on the Green Link, near the Astroturf and on the park extension.
The most dominant tree species in the park is the London Plane (Platanus hispanica), they were chosen in 1854 for their fast growth rate and this helped to quickly transform Kennington Common into Kennington Park. The plane was one of the few trees that could cope with London's polluted air, helped by its large leathery leaves and bark which peels off in plates preventing the pores getting clogged up.
One the the large plane trees close to Prince Consort Lodge is an Oriental Plane, Platanus Orientalis. Each year this tree pays us back an estimated £94 in air pollution removal, carbon sequestration and storm water alleviation. Following the tree survey (and calculation the capital asset value of amenity of trees), this elderly plane tree is worth £326,800.
On the south field, near the cafe, there are also Field Maples and Horse Chestnuts, whilst on the north field there are Cork Oaks.
In the Flower Garden are two pomegranate trees (Punica granatum). Although they are only the size of bushes, they are actually small trees. Originally from West Asia. They have orangey waxy looking fruit - but these are NOT edible. Also in the flower garden, near the pond, are some olive trees and at the other end of the flower garden is a fig tree.
On the Green Link that connects the heritage park with the sports extension there has been a lot of recent fruit tree planting with different species of apples. One of the trees planted in November 2017 was a Black Mulberry, this is to commemorate the Chartist Rally which took place in the park on 10 April 1848.
Trees for Cities report
Trees for Cities completed a study of Kennington Park in 2017. A summary of their report is reproduced below:
The full report can be downloaded below:
i-Tree System Analysis Written Report.pdf
A proposed plan for new trees has also been completed by Trees for cities and is available for download below:
Kennington Park New Trees - Final Design.pdf