Celebrity Supporters

Celebrity Supporters for Tree-Athlon

Since we held the world’s first Tree-Athlon in Battersea Park in September 2004, we have had tremendous support from well-known faces from the worlds of fashion, television, food, gardening and entertainment. We would like to thank all the individuals below for their wonderful support, which has enabled us to get the Tree-Athlon to where we are now – a national initiative with events in three major cities: London, Leeds and Manchester.

Watch this space for this year’s star-studded roll call of celebrity supporters!

Rupert Bear

Eco Explorer and Tree-Athlete from Nutwood

“As an Eco Explorer I wholly support the Tree-athlon and am looking forward to travelling from my treehouse in Nutwood to support all the Tree-Athletes in London.”


TV chef and author

“We all have a responsibility to the environment and what better way to raise awareness and money for the cause?”

Lily Cole


Supermodel Lily Cole ran the Tree-Athlon in 2006 and is a great supporter of Trees for Cities.

Chris Collins

Horticulturalist, TV presenter and Blue Peter gardener

Blue Peter gardener and avid horticulturalist Chris Collins was the man with the starter’s gun at the 2007 Tree-Athlon and said: “It’s my first ever Tree-Athlon and I was delighted to be the official race starter. It’s a fun and exciting way for people of all ages to get fit, recycle their clothes and do their bit for the environment. I can’t wait to see lots more trees being planted in deprived areas of London and beyond!

Diarmuid Gavin

BBC TV garden designer

“It’s a good motivation to get fit whilst helping Trees for Cities – I’ve been associated with the charity for a number of years now and the way they get local people involved in greening bleak urban spaces is so important.”

Jon Hammond


Jon Hammond loves trees and joined us at the 2008 Leeds Tree-Athlon as our compere.

Ashia Hansen

European Champion & Britain’s top woman triple jumper

Ashia Hansen, European Champion and Britain’s top woman triple jumper, says “The more trees we have in our cities then the more people will want to get out and train and enjoy the healthy outdoor environment.”

Matt James

Channel 4’s City Gardener

“I’m passionate about trees and green spaces but also love living in the city, so I think the Tree-Athlon is a great event to be involved with. It’s so important to plant more trees – not only do they absorb pollution and reduce the impact of global warming, they also provide some much-needed calm and tranquillity in our hectic lives.”

Tony Kirkham

Head of the Arboretum, Kew Gardens

“The Tree-Athlon has become one of those landmark calendar events that will be marked in the diaries of anyone who feels for trees and the environment. The funds raised from this event all go directly to the funding of important tree-planting projects in cities across the world and what could be more important today? This means that at last we have a fully operational organisation that plants and establishes trees successfully in landscapes where trees are few, making a huge difference to people’s lives. I will always support this event as there is no other that can make such an impression on the treescape of the UK in just 5 kilometres.”

Karin Leitner

International flautist

“Trees are a luxury for all of us and we need this luxury for our health, mind and soul. Places become sad when there is no green and no life present. Trees balance our lives. I am happy to support Trees for Cities with all my heart.”

Gabby Logan

TV sports presenter

Good sport Gabby Logan kicked off the 2006 Tree-Athlon with a warm up for the Tree-Athletes. “Getting fit and helping the environment: what could be more important? I’m delighted to be involved in the Tree-Athlon and can’t wait to see another 20,000 trees planted!”

Alistair McGowan

Celebrity impressionist and actor

“Global warming is such a pressing issue and the Tree-Athlon is a tree-mendous way for people to do their bit for the environment. Future generations will never forgive us if we just sit back and let the ice caps melt.”

Shazia Mirza

Stand-up comedienne

“Trees are wonderful; trees are beautiful; trees are trees – join me for a laugh and help Trees for Cities to seed the future at their lovely Tree-Athlon in Battersea Park.”

Sam Murphy

Health & fitness expert, author and journalist

The 2007 Tree-Athletes were lucky enough to have health and fitness expert Sam Murphy lead them in a stretchy, warm-up routine before she joined them in the race and came 4th!

The Pigeon Detectives


Leeds-based band the Pigeon Detectives, who will be appearing at the Leeds Tree-Athlon, say, “People often take trees for granted, especially in our cities. The Tree-Athlon is a great opportunity to raise some serious cash for tree planting, so join us at Temple Newsam in Leeds on Sunday 28th September.”

Katherine Poulton


“Get up, get your running shoes on and make a difference; Trees for Cities is a brilliant charity. I encourage everyone to get involved and help take care of our world: the Tree-Athlon is a great place to start!”

Antony Worrall Thompson

TV celebrity chef

“I have always been passionate about green issues and the outdoors, and I think the Tree-Athlon is a great way to help make our cities healthier and greener. It is our responsibility to look after the environment and make it better for our children and future generations.”