Communities across the UK are being encouraged to plant trees in an initiative to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
The Queen’s Green Canopy scheme has been launched to encourage people to plant trees during tree-planting season – October 2021 through to the end of 2022 – to mark Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne.
Schools, businesses and community groups will be able to apply for three million free saplings from the Woodland Trust as part of the project.
The scheme will also highlight 70 irreplaceable ancient woodlands across the UK, and create a pilot training programme for unemployed young people to plant and manage trees.
The Prince of Wales was joined by the Queen for the first jubilee tree-planting in the grounds of Windsor earlier this year, during the tree-planting season.
In a video message to launch the initiative, Prince Charles urged people to join him to “plant a tree for the jubilee” – joking that it should be called a “tree-bilee”.
Charles described planting a tree as a “statement of hope and faith in the future” and said planting trees and hedgerows were cost-effective ways to combat climate change.
He said it was “absolutely vital” that more woodlands, hedgerows and urban planting schemes are established across Britain – whilst ensuring that “we protect and sustain what we already have”.
The Prince of Wales said: “Whether you are an individual hoping to plant a single sapling in your garden, a school or community group planting a tree, a council, charity or business intending to plant a whole avenue of trees or a farmer looking to create new hedgerows, everyone across the country can get involved.”
The scheme is being launched as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s “virtual” Chelsea Flower Show, taking part online this week, in the hope the initiative would encourage people to learn about the best ways to plant trees.
The pilot training programme for unemployed young people aged between 16 and 24 will be run through Capel Manor College, London’s only specialist environmental college, of which the Queen Mother was patron.
Donations to the scheme will go to deprived areas and urban schools through one of the partner organisations of the Queen’s Green Canopy, Trees for Cities.
Boris Johnson said Britain’s trees “stand at the frontline of our fight against climate change” and encouraged as many people as possible to take part. “The Queen’s Green Canopy is a fitting tribute to her Majesty’s years of service to this country.”
Woodland Trust chief executive Darren Moorcroft said: “We need more projects like this, giving people access to our natural heritage, opportunities to do something positive for the environment, and helping to safeguard it for our children in the face of a combined climate and nature crisis.”
For more about the scheme you can visit queensgreencanopy.org
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