Diamond Jubilee: Digging deep for commemorative woods
By Mark KinverEnvironment reporter, BBC News
Organisers of a project to create a series of new woods to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee hope to plant one million trees during February.
The Woodland Trust said next month marked the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.
Free tree-planting packs would be available for groups wanted to take part in the project, it added.
The centrepiece of the Trust’s plans will be a Diamond Park – a 460-acre site containing 500,000 trees.
Dame Judi Dench, the Oscar-winning actress, has lent her support to the Jubilee Woods project.
“Whenever a friend or relative dies, I make a point of planting a tree in my garden,” she explained.
“As soon as I heard about the Jubilee Woods project, I felt I wanted to be a part of it,” Dame Judi added.
“I support the Woodland Trust because I think too many forests are being destroyed and we should do all we can to conserve what we have and to plant more.
“The more trees I see, the happier I am.”
Georgina McLeod, head of the Trust’s Jubilee Woods project, said there were a number of ways that people could take part and become “one in a million”.
“From helping to create 60 new Diamond Woods, planting new woodland with communities, donating funds to help plant trees, to planting trees in school grounds or a single tree in your garden or pot, it’s easy to plant trees for the jubilee and help us reach a million trees in a month,” she said.
She added that more details were available on a website that had created for people interested in participating.
As well as creating the flagship 460-acre (186ha) Diamond Wood, located in the National Forest in Leicestershire, the project also aims to create a further 59 diamond woods around the UK – each covering more than 60 acres (24ha).
The Trust is also providing thousands of free tree-planting pack in an effort to encourage people to help it achieve its goal of planting six million trees during the jubilee year.
Community groups can apply for packs contain 105 or 420 native species, with each pack containing a “royal oak” sapling, grown from acorns collected on Royal estates.
School packs contain 60 hedge/copse species as well as a royal oak sapling. The kits will be made available in time for planting during the autumn.