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Grow Back Greener 2022/23

The extreme temperatures and devastating fires that raged across our city this summer laid bare just how vulnerable London is to the consequences of climate change. We’re looking for community-based projects across the capital that will help plant trees to provide shade and keep the city cool, and make our areas more resilient to climate change. The fund also aims to ensure that all Londoners can access high-quality green spaces and the benefits they bring within walking distance.

Grants of between £10,000 – £50,000 are available for community projects across the capital that meet the aims of the fund. For projects that will create new green spaces, grants of up to £75,000 are available. This is to reflect the higher costs of some of these types of projects, such as depaving and installing sustainable drainage systems.

Applications closed at 5pm on Monday 26 September 2022.

Funded projects should start from December 2022 and should be completed by December 2023. Full details about the fund are available in the Grants Guide below.

View Grants Guide

Who can apply?

Applications should be from a formally constituted organisation that has an organisational bank account and is able to enter into legal contracts. You cannot apply as a private individual.

Applications are open to:

  • registered charities including charitable incorporated organisations
  • formally constituted community groups*
  • social and not-for-profit businesses including community interest companies and social enterprises
  • community benefit societies
  • tenants and residents’ associations, and tenant management organisations
  • housing associations
  • local authorities, where they are working in collaboration with one or more local community groups, schools or civil society organisations. For applications to the tree planting theme, local authorities may apply on their own. However, collaborative projects are welcomed.

*If you have a great idea for a greening project but aren’t an incorporated or constituted group, we are still interested in hearing from you. Please contact Groundwork to discuss your idea. Please email, or call Kamrul Islam on 07540 126 706, or Lewis Fieldson on 07889 756 247.

What will we be funding?

The Grow Back Greener Fund will support a wide range of activities to help make London greener, fairer, healthier and more resilient.

Projects should take place in, and enhance, publicly accessible spaces including parks, community gardens, housing estates, streets, school playgrounds, waterways and nature reserves. They should mainly be focused on making physical improvements to the space. We will prioritise projects that:

  • create new green spaces, and improve the quality of and access to existing green space where Londoners live further than a 10-minute walk from a green space
  • plant trees in areas of low canopy cover
  • are in areas of the city at high climate risk, especially where these are also areas of deprivation
  • work with, or preferably are led by, Londoners who are less likely to access green space; this includes Black, Asian and minority ethnic Londoners, lower-income Londoners, LGBTQ+ Londoners, Deaf Londoners or those with a disability and those aged 65 and over
  • include opportunities for Londoners to access training or develop new green skills.


The 2022/23 Grow Back Greener Fund will focus on two key themes:

  • Green Spaces & Waterways
  • Tree Planting

Green Spaces and Waterways

The green spaces and waterways theme will prioritise projects in locations where Londoners live further than a 10-minute walk from green space and/ or at high climate risk.

It will support projects that create new green spaces; improve the quality of and access to existing green spaces; or open up previously inaccessible spaces. It will also support projects that aim to improve waterways and enhance London’s resilience to climate change through green and blue infrastructure, including nature-based solutions that reduce flood risk, improve water quality, create shade and cool the city.

Types of projects could include:

  • enhancing or creating publicly accessible green spaces for people and/or wildlife e.g. by creating meadows
  • improving access to green space for Londoners, especially underrepresented communities
  • community gardening and food growing, including planting orchards
  • permanently greening streets and public spaces, including depaving to turn grey into green, or creating parklets
  • installing sustainable urban drainage features to reduce local flood risk
  • cleaning up and restoring rivers, canals and ponds
  • greening underused or neglected land within housing estate
  • planting and maintaining trees or woodlands, including to provide shade
  • using nature-based solutions such as constructed wetlands to improve water quality
  • management activities to improve wildlife habitat
  • creating opportunities for children to access nature, and outdoor play and learning

This is not an exhaustive list and we are keen to hear your ideas.

Tree Planting

The tree planting theme will support tree planting projects that aim to provide shade and cool the city, making London more climate resilient. We will prioritise projects that plant trees to provide shade in public spaces in areas with low tree canopy cover and/ or high climate risk. Where possible projects should aim to plant large canopy trees. We are also keen to support tree planting projects which help tackle flooding.

Types of projects could include:

  • planting trees in public spaces, including playgrounds, schools and hospitals, 
  • depaving projects to make space for tree planting or depaving around existing trees  
  • planting large canopy trees, where space allows 
  • planting trees to shade walking routes  
  • planting new orchards 
  • creating small woodland areas or hedges in parks and green spaces

Priority Areas

London 10 Minute Walk Map

To help target action to areas where people live more than a 10-minute walk from a green space, the GLA has created this 10-Minute Walk Map. It shows those areas where Londoners may live more than an 800-metre walk (i.e. about 10 minutes) from an accessible green space of at least 0.02 hectares, which is the size of a pocket park.

The Grow Back Greener Fund’s ‘Green Spaces & Waterways’ theme will prioritise projects that create new green space in one of these ‘hexes’ or in an adjacent hex. You should use the map to answer question 3.2 within the application form, full instructions can be found in Appendix C.

Access the map here.

London Climate Risk Maps

These maps bring together key metrics on exposure to climate risk, such as flood risk, access to open space, air pollution and heat, with vulnerability metrics including concentrations of younger and older people, and deprivation. The maps show overall climate risk and divide London into a hexagon grid of 350m ‘hexes’ to identify needs on a local scale. There are also separate maps for flood risk and heat risk.

Full instructions on how to use these maps to inform your application can be found in Appendix C.

Access the maps here.

London Tree Canopy Cover Map

Tree canopy cover varies hugely across London, from 3% in some wards to nearly 60% in others. National guidance is that local areas should aim for a minimum 20% canopy cover.  This map can help you analyse areas within each ward that fall short of the 20% national guidance level. Projects in areas where canopy cover falls below 10% will be prioritised for the ‘Tree Planting’ theme.

Full instructions on how to use these maps to inform your application can be found in Appendix C.

Access the map here and click the “view the full size map” button


Please use these appendices to help you with your application.

Appendix B – Completed Question Examples

Appendix C – Maps and Data


Groundwork London is managing the Grow Back Greener Fund community grants on behalf of the Mayor of London. If you have any questions about the grants please email or call Kamrul Islam on 07540 126 706 or Lewis Fieldson on 07889 756247.

If you want to stay up to date with other grant programmes happening in the city then please use the link below to sign up to the Groundwork London Mailing List.

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