The Queen’s Green Canopy
A tree-planting initiative has been launched to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. ‘The Queen’s Green Canopy’ invites individuals, schools, communities, councils and businesses to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ and create a network of trees, avenues, copses, and whole woodlands between October 2021 and March 2022. It will also highlight 70 irreplaceable ancient woodlands across the UK and identify 70 ancient trees to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years of service.
In a video to mark the launch, Prince Charles, the project’s patron, identified the benefits that trees bring: ‘Forests are’, he said, ‘amongst the richest biological areas on Earth. They offer a magnificent range of habitats for plants, animals and micro-organisms, release oxygen, generate rainfall, aid natural flood management, filter pollution from the air, regulate temperatures in urban areas, prevent soil erosion, mitigate the effects of climate change and enhance our well-being.’
The Woodland Trust is a partner of the Queen’s Green Canopy scheme and they are making free saplings available to schools and groups: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/schools-and-communities/queens-green-canopy. Across 2021 and 2022 they will have over 3 million saplings in tree packs, available on a first come, first served basis. In addition to this, the Queen’s Green Canopy scheme will make contact with as many State Schools in the UK as possible to arrange free trees through its partner organisations.
Right tree, right place, right time
But it is important that the right tree should be planted in the right place and at the right time. It must also be watered, protected and cared for in the coming months and years. For more information on what trees to choose, where to source them, when and how to plant them and how to protect them and help them to flourish, see https://queensgreencanopy.org /get-involved, which has sections on how to plan, plant and protect your new trees.
At least one Alton school is ahead of the game. The Butts Primary School already saw the advantages of tree planting and decided on a 25-metre hedge of native trees in the spring of 2021 instead of building the fence they had originally considered. The next stage for them, this time as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy scheme, is to plant a small copse, also consisting of native species.
Once Jubilee trees are planted, they can be photographed and uploaded onto the Queen’s Green Canopy map: https://queensgreencanopy.org/map-education-hub/qgc-map. And you can even order an official plaque to mark the occasion for generations to come. Templates can be ordered now from the QGC website which also offers suggested wording and a list of recommended suppliers.
To quote Prince Charles again: “It is absolutely vital that more of the right species of trees are planted, in the right places, and that more woodlands, avenues, hedgerows and hedgerow trees and urban planting schemes are established, whilst ensuring that we also protect and sustain what we already have. “
ACAN urges everyone who possibly can to take part in this project. We echo Prince Charles’ opinion that it is ‘a statement of hope and faith in the future’. Planting trees and hedgerows and protecting existing woodlands and forests are simple, cost-effective ways to protect the planet. Every tree planted will bring benefits for people, wildlife and the climate, now and for the future.