The Brunswick Plane, in the photos, is one of the Great Trees of London. It's thought to be the second oldest plane in the centre of the capital. The tree was planted in 1796, when Brunswick Square Gardens were created as a green space for children in the Foundling Hospital to enjoy open air and nature.
Planes are now found all over the city and are an important helper in keeping air clean. Pollution is trapped on the bark, which the tree naturally sheds. However, there's a slight downside in that planes produce a chemical which, in very hot weather, can combine with nitrous oxide from car exhaust fumes to produce ozone. This is why it's a really good idea to keep car emissions low and let our beautiful trees provide oxygen and tackle other air pollution as well as give us lovely green shade in the summer.
This is part of my Green London series of posts, showing that the city as a whole is full of public parks, gardens, nature reserves and even forests where trees and other plants thrive.
Other previous related posts