Merton branches out internationally

Merton Council recently played host to two members of the Criminal Investigative Training Action Programme (ICITAP), which works to develop community projects across the world to improve the local environment and encourage greater community involvement in local initiatives.

Shqipe Durguti and Rema Ibrahimi from Kosovo visited Merton’s Sir Joseph Hood Millennium Wood as part of a tour of the UK last month. They saw and heard about the thousands of trees, which were planted by the borough’s schoolchildren in the award-winning park during 1999/2000 to benefit the environment and residents alike. The visitors also saw the plane trees in Ravensbury Park, which rank among the largest in London. They also learnt about current street tree planting programmes and took part in the big Morden Park planting event. The Forestry Commission recommended to the ICITAP Merton’s tree planting initiatives as examples of best practice to help Kosovo adapt to climate change, cut environmental pollution, and bring communities together.

Further information on Merton Council tree initiatives can be found at

Merton Council’s cabinet member for environment and leisure services, Councillor David Simpson said: “We always welcome visitors, both from overseas and other parts of the UK, who are keen to share experiences with us and who want to benefit from the various environmental initiatives that we have implemented here in Merton. Earlier this year Spanish delegates came to the borough to learn about our pioneering, environmental planning policy – the Merton Rule – and how they could implement something similar in Spain. Sharing best practice in this way across international borders is mutually beneficial as we can all learn how we might do things better for the future.”