Half a million trees planted in honour — and in memory — of The Queen

Huge swathes of Britain will be carpeted with trees for generations to come thanks to the huge success of the Platinum Woods project. James Fisher reports.

Some 1,000 acres of woodland consisting of more than half a million trees will be established across the UK, thanks to the Woodland Trust’s Platinum Woods scheme. The charity, in partnership with The Queen’s Green Canopy, began a large-scale tree-planting initiative in 2022 to coincide with and celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of the late Queen.

Following the death of Elizabeth II in September last year, the scheme was extended to allow people to plant trees in her memory. As a result, a total of 14 ‘life-giving Platinum Woods’ have been established — including at an honorary site in New Zealand — that will see some 500,000 trees sprout from a combination of planting and natural regeneration.

‘Although the initiative is at an end, the inspiration goes on.’

According to Toby Bancroft, central England regional director at the Woodland Trust, The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative has been ‘inspirational’, adding that ‘in the face of the climate emergency and Nature crisis, we have never needed trees more for all the benefits they deliver for people and wildlife’. He added: ‘It’s been so heartening to work with like-minded landowners to create more than 1,000 acres of new native woodland as a significant contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy.’

The 14 new woods span the entire country and will include sites at historic homes, such as Burghley in Lincolnshire; farms, including the Wimpole estate in Cambridgeshire and Tidgrove Warren in Hampshire; as well as an urban site at Sandhills Wood in East London. A wood has also been planted at Glen Kyllachy in Scotland, a landscape that was ‘particularly beloved by Her late Majesty’, says the Woodland Trust. In New Zealand, Taimana Forest on North Island was prompted by the Queen’s love for the Commonwealth.

‘The Queen’s Green Canopy has inspired people across the UK,’ says Woodland Trust ambassador Jules Acton. ‘Schools and communities have planted their grounds with the Woodland Trust’s native-tree packs, boosting Nature and the wellbeing of local people. Landowners have played a vital role creating woodland at scale, linking up our landscape. That helps the UK’s Nature become more resilient to the threats it faces. Although the initiative is at an end, the inspiration goes on.’

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