Queen’s Green Canopy at GreenAcres
It has been a very special and busy tree planting season for GreenAcres teams! From October 2021 to March 2022, Parks across the UK have taken part in The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC). This unique tree planting initiative marks Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 and encourages people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.
The Parks have been proud to be part of creating a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations. They invited some wonderful people to plant trees from all walks of life, who shared their thoughts on what being involved in the project meant to them.
Rainford Park in Merseyside were joined in November 2021 by Lord Derby, well-known across the Liverpool area as owner of the beautiful Knowsley Hall and Knowsley Safari.
He shared his thoughts on planting the tree at GreenAcres: “Trees are absolutely vital for our survival, without them we would literally have no oxygen to breathe, and humanity would die, so planting trees is a fabulous legacy for this Jubilee project. Her Majesty has been like a magnificent oak tree – solid, dependable, always there acting with integrity, and has a real interest in everybody she meets”
February 2022 saw Kemnal Park in Kent welcoming local Reverend Trevor Wyatt, who is Chairperson of Bexley Interfaith Forum: “I believe that The Queen has been the most exemplary example of Christian service to our nation and to the wider world. She has been a figure of unity for the UK and has been able to bring people together, from across all faith traditions and none, particularly when we have faced difficult and challenging times. Planting this tree is a tangible sign of our support to Her Majesty and all that she has done. It is also a sign of our commitment to act for the good of the environment and the future of our planet.”
The remaining four Parks planted their trees during March 2022. Perhaps the most moving occasion was with Sir Trevor Phillips as he joined the team to plant a tree at Epping Forest Park in Essex, which is the final resting place of his eldest daughter and holds a very special place in the hearts of his family. Sir Trevor poignantly commented “This particular location carries three separate meanings for me. First, the human race faces two great challenges: how we live with our planet and how we live with each other. It is of course, the central mission at GreenAcres to preserve and enhance the natural environment, and the QGC will be a huge contribution to that mission.
Second, the tree honours Her Majesty and her decades of service, in particular her role in reminding us that, with all our diversity we are one nation.
And third, this is the final home of my elder daughter, and will probably be my own. Preserving our species is not just a matter of keeping our physical beings alive; it is, even more importantly, an act of memory that keeps the human story alive, and a marker that will encourage those who come after us to tell our stories for ages to come.”
Heatherley Wood Park in Hampshire had a fun time with the House Captains from local Grayshott CE Primary School who all got fully involved with the tree planting and showed off some of the skills learnt from their schools gardening and allotment club.
There was a distinctly royal feel at Colney Park in Norfolk and Chiltern Park in Buckinghamshire, who were both lucky enough to have one of The Queen’s representatives for their counties to plant the trees.
Carol Bundock, Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk commented on the environmental legacy of the QGC: “It is a wonderful way of celebrating the Platinum Jubilee, and what better place to plant a tree than here at GreenAcres Colney. A place of peace and tranquillity, with nature all around. I’ve conducted many services here as a Celebrant, and I think it totally fitting that another tree is added to the existing green canopy.”
Countess Elizabeth Howe, Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire shared her thoughts on the service The Queen had given the UK:
“She has given dedicated service to this country, the Commonwealth and the world for 70 years. Not only is she the longest reigning monarch in our history but she leaves an extraordinary legacy. She is held in the deepest affection and utmost respect by all whose lives she has touched.”
The Parks will remember the people and the stories behind the planting of these special trees for years to come and they will be there for future generations to enjoy as they grow and flourish. You can visit the new areas created at any time during Park open hours. Look out for the beautiful QGC commemorative plaques in Welsh slate marking them!
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