On Wednesday 26th September, an intrepid group of cyclists are celebrating the life and work of 18th century Londoner John Evelyn, cycling from his birth place in Surrey to the site of his celebrated London house at Sayes Court in Deptford.
The 36-mile ‘Evelyn200’ ride will start at John Evelyn’s birthplace at Wotton House, near Dorking in Surrey, and finish where his once famous garden and house flourished in Deptford at Sayes Court. But there’s a green twist to the ride, as most of the riders in this unusual peloton work as arboriculturists and foresters, and will be planting trees with a school and community group as part of the event.
The event is a collaboration between Fund4Trees (an urban tree charity) and local community group Deptford Folk, and its Evelyn200 project. Some riders are trustees of Fund4Trees, while others are London Tree Officers from the Borough of Islington.
The route will take the riders from Evelyn’s birthplace, with diversions for some riders to Gresham College (where the inaugural meeting of the Royal Society took place), Middle Temple (where Evelyn studied), and Dover Street where the diarist died.
The Evelyn200 peloton, all back together again, will arrive in Deptford at modern day Evelyn Ward which was once part of the Evelyn estate, including Sayes Court Park. Once in Sayes Court Park, at around 1.30pm, we will join pupils from Deptford Invicta Primary School, and plant four new trees along the perimeter fence on Grove Street. The trees are Pride of India, which produce a beautiful yellow flowers bringing colour to this much loved local public park. The trees have been funded by developer, Lendlease.
You can follow the progress of the peloton throughout the day on Twitter: @fund4trees or @deptfordfolk. The trees will be logged @EvelynTrees and mapped on TiCLme.
You can join the peloton at 12.30 at The Old Vic, Waterloo. Get in touch.
You can join us in Sayes Court Park at 1.30pm to plant trees with local children.
The project aims to celebrate 200 years since 17th Century diarist, arboriculturalist, gardener John Evelyn who lived at Sayes Court Manor in Deptford. Evelyn wrote about trees in his Sylva, the first book published by the Royal Socitey. Sadly, modern-day Evelyn Ward has the lowest number of trees and the worst air quality in London.