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Official Launch of The Queen’s Green Canopy: “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”

Author:  The Queen’s Green Canopy
  17/05/2021
Last Updated:  17/05/2021

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron, has planted a tree to launch The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) - a unique, UK-wide tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, by inviting people to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee.”

Her Majesty The Queen joined The Prince of Wales for the first Jubilee tree planting in the grounds of Windsor Castle earlier this year, during the tree planting season.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson today welcomed the QGC initiative which invites everyone to plant sustainably to create a national legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership over 70 years. He said:

“Our trees stand at the frontline of our fight against climate change and by sustaining our beautiful countryside for generations to come, The Queen’s Green Canopy is a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s years of service to this country. I urge everyone to get involved and ‘plant a tree for the Jubilee’.”

Everyone from individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates will be encouraged to plant trees from October 2021 when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022. The countdown to planting season begins today, giving people time to plan their planting projects.

As well as inviting the planting of new trees, The Queen’s Green Canopy will highlight and showcase 70 amazing and irreplaceable Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.

The QGC project will also create a pilot training programme for unemployed young people aged between 16-24 through Capel Manor College, London’s only specialist environmental college of which The Queen Mother was Patron, to plant and manage trees.

From October, all planting projects can be uploaded onto an interactive map on the new QGC website so that everyone can share and inspire others, as well as creating a green canopy of projects to cover the country.

The Prince’s Jubilee tree was planted earlier this year in the grounds of Windsor Castle in March, during the official planting season (October-March). A photograph of Her Majesty and His Royal Highness with the tree has been released in support of The Queen’s Green Canopy launch.

Today the QGC website has been launched www.queensgreencanopy.org which gives people information on how they can get involved.

The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said:

“I want to encourage everyone to support the launch of The Queen’s Green Canopy. From individuals, schools, farmers, environmental groups and businesses, we want people to get involved, grow and protect our nation’s trees, and mark the Platinum Jubilee.

“Tackling the climate and biodiversity crises is a priority. Healthy and productive trees and woodland will play a crucial role in this – which is why we are committed to increasing tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this Parliament, and investing millions of pounds to help deliver this through the ‘Nature for Climate Fund’.”

Tree planting season - October to March

The Queen’s Green Canopy will encourage everyone to learn more about the best way to plant trees so that they survive and flourish for years to come. Trees and hedgerows must be planted with care, at the right time of year, in the right place and with species that are not prone to prevailing tree diseases. The QGC initiative will encourage planting during the official planting season, October to March, to optimise the chance of trees surviving and flourishing.

People are encouraged to use the summer to plan their Jubilee tree planting projects and be ready for October.

Through our QGC Partner The Woodland Trust, schools and community groups will be able to apply for three million free saplings, available on a first come first served basis.

Details will be outlined on www.queensgreencanopy.org from June, alongside expert advice from our partners about tree planting “best practice” – including where to plant and how to secure a healthy tree which is right for the location.

The planting of new trees across the United Kingdom may take the form of:

  • Individuals planting trees on their private land.
  • Corporates and businesses planting trees on their land and creating tree planting projects with employees.
  • Platinum Jubilee Community Planting - projects for youth groups, Parishes, Residents Associations. Community groups can apply for free saplings from June through the QGC website, available on a first come first served basis.
  • A Platinum Jubilee Avenue of medium-sized or large trees ideal for cities, large estates, new housing developments and parishes.
  • A Platinum Jubilee Copse on private land or land allocated by the County or Council.
  • A Platinum School Tree: all schools are encouraged to actively engage with the QGC. Schools may apply for free saplings through the Woodland Trust on the QGC website from June, available on a first-come-first served basis. In addition to this, the QGC will make contact with as many state schools in the UK as possible to arrange free trees through our partner organisations. The number of free trees available will depend on donations received. There is also an education hub on the QGC website which provides materials for schools.

The Queen’s Green Canopy Map

A special interactive map has been created to track the Jubilee tree plantings, which is embedded within the QGC website. When planting season arrives in October, people will be able to upload images with their newly planted Jubilee trees on the QGC map.

The tree planted by His Royal Highness represents the first Jubilee tree on the QGC map, along with four foundation plantings by Royal Mail in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Donations

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a not-for-profit initiative and money raised will be donated to deprived areas and urban schools through our QGC partner, Trees for Cities. The QGC will also offer people the opportunity to commemorate loved ones through the donation of a Jubilee tree.

The Queen’s Green Canopy Partners

Collaboration is central to the QGC. We are proud to partner with the following charities, social enterprises and Government Departments to help us plant and protect trees across the UK.

Cool Earth

Cool Earth is the international climate charity working alongside communities living in the world’s most threatened rainforest. Building on the successful Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) project, Cool Earth are the hosts of The Queen’s Green Canopy, enabling the initiative through the provision of necessary infrastructure.

Chair of Natural England and Cool Earth Trustee, Tony Juniper CBE said:

“Expanding woodland and tree cover, with the right trees in the right place, is key to the recovery of the world’s natural environment, including here in Britain. Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee marks an unparalleled moment to raise our ambition in that regard, harnessing Cool Earth’s expertise to help do the job.”

The Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the United Kingdom, with over 500,000 supporters. The Woodland Trust works in support of a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife. In addition to sharing their expertise, the Trust has committed three million free saplings to schools and communities across the UK as part of the QGC initiative.

CEO of the Woodland Trust, Darren Moorcroft, said:

“There is no more fitting way to celebrate Her Majesty's Jubilee than through striving to increase and protect our native tree cover. The last year has emphasised the central role that trees and woods play in the life of the nation. 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."

The Royal Horticultural Society

Committed to inspiring a passion for horticulture, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is the UK’s leading gardening charity. The launch of the QGC coincides with the start of the RHS’s virtual Chelsea Flower Show. The RHS will also be supporting the QGC during the physical event in September. As Patron, The Queen typically visits the flower show alongside Members of the Royal Family.

Royal Horticultural Society Director General, Sue Biggs, said:

“It is wonderful to be involved in The Queen’s Green Canopy, and we could not be more delighted that such a fabulous initiative is launching during RHS Virtual Chelsea week, when we normally hold the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which Her Majesty The Queen has visited so often.

The Queen has also planted many treasured trees at RHS Gardens over the years, and as the UK’s gardening charity, we are very excited about helping and encouraging millions of gardeners to ‘plant a tree for the Jubilee’ over the autumn months.”

Trees for Cities

Trees for Cities (TfC) is a national charity operating in towns and cities across the UK with the goal to create healthy, accessible, functional and resilient urban forests for today and for future generations. TfC will support the delivery of the QGC programme in urban areas, helping to target places of greatest social and environmental need.

Chief Executive of Trees for Cities, David Elliott, said:

"We are incredibly proud to be a partner of The Queens Green Canopy initiative in celebration of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee in 2022. By encouraging people to plant and protect urban trees as a legacy to Her Majesty's Service to the Nation, we hope to enable and inspire individuals and local communities across the UK to connect with nature and each other. Through this partnership, these trees will provide a multitude of benefits to local communities in our towns and cities and inspire a new generation of young people to plant trees that will not only survive but thrive for generations to come.”

The Forest Canopy Foundation

The Forest Canopy Foundation (FCF) is made up of independent private sector forestry companies who manage an innovative scheme, combining public and private finance and landowner interest to achieve woodland planting that all can be proud of. The FCF will provide expert advice for companies wishing to participate in the QC initiative, particularly those who wish to do extensive planting.

Director of The Forest Canopy Foundation, Niel Nicholson, said:

“The Forest Canopy Foundation are delighted to partner with The Queen’s Green Canopy. We will be providing advice and guidance to the Queen’s Green Canopy on how to plant trees so that they survive and thrive, across the whole of the UK.”

DEFRA

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) are the Government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our worldleading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Trees planted as part of the QGC initiative will contribute to the UK Government’s tree planting and woodland creation commitments.

Chair of the Forestry Commission, Sir William Worsley, said:

“The value of trees to people and nature has never been clearer and at a time where we must do everything we can to not only tackle climate change, but also adapt to its impacts. I would urge everyone to pick up a spade and plant a tree for the jubilee. As the government’s expert forestry advisors and proud carers of the nation’s forests for over 100 years – we are hugely excited to support The Queen’s Green Canopy.”

Cavendish Group CEO, Mala Manku said:

“We’re honoured at Cavendish to be working with you to mark both The Queen’s outstanding contribution to sustainability and the skills gap that needs to be addressed to continue this important legacy. Together, this work will be an important step towards ensuring underprivileged groups are at the heart of the UK’s ambitions to tackle the climate crisis, create green jobs and reskill parts of the workforce that need it most.”

The Queen’s Green Canopy Platinum Supporters

The QGC is grateful to be working with a select group of Founding Platinum Supporters: Royal Mail, Coutts, The John Lewis Partnership, Coupa and Rentokil Initial plc.

Royal Mail is the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. As the Founding Platinum Supporter of The Queens Green Canopy, Royal Mail has planted four mature trees in each nation of the UK at four Royal Mail sites. The trees can be found at mail centres and delivery offices in Belfast, Portsmouth, Swansea and Glasgow.

Royal Mail Chief Commercial Officer, Nick Landon, said:

“Royal Mail is the original postal service. For over 500 years we have taken the long view and continuously reinvented ourselves for the next generations. As the Founding Platinum Supporter of The Queen’s Green Canopy, Royal Mail is incredibly proud to support this inspiring project which is creating a greener environment for generations to come. As part of this support we have planted four wonderful indigenous trees, one at a selected Royal Mail site in each UK nation, in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and for the enjoyment of all for many years to come.”

Coutts Chief Executive Officer, Peter Flavel, said:

“We’re proud to be a Founding Partner of The Queen’s Green Canopy to commemorate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. The planting and protection of trees, in line with the ‘right tree, right place, right reason’ principle, is of paramount importance to combat climate change and rejuvenate communities, and we are delighted to support this initiative and play our part.”

John Lewis Partnership Chairman, Sharon White, said:

“The Queen’s Green Canopy is a fantastic way to support Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. In a year when we're focused more than ever on nature and its importance to our lives, everyone at John Lewis and Waitrose is excited to be a founder member of the project. Working with our Partners, customers, suppliers and farmers, planting a tree for the Jubilee will be a privilege and helps improve our urban, suburban and rural landscapes.”

Coupa Senior Vice President, Helen Trim, said:

“Coupa is honoured to be supporting The Queen's Green Canopy this year. Native woodland and trees are vital to helping fight climate change. It is essential that we all do our part to continue to plant and protect nature's natural carbon-removing and air-filtering resources to make a positive impact on the environment and our local communities.”

Rentokil Initial plc CEO, Andy Ransom, said:

“On behalf of our colleagues and customers across the UK and the Commonwealth we are delighted to be a Founding Platinum Supporter of The Queen’s Green Canopy. This is a wonderful way to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 and we are pleased to support the planting of trees in schools and urban areas.”

Further Background

  • Throughout Her reign, The Queen has planted more than 1,500 trees all over the world and has spoken alongside Sir David Attenborough of the importance of trees in the Earth’s future.
  • The QGC is a voluntary and inclusive initiative which is open to participation by everyone in the UK.
  • The QGC is a symbolic gift which involves the voluntary dedication of forests and woodland – there is no land/title transfer.
  • Planting trees and protecting forests are simple, cost effective ways to slow climate change, filter our air, enhance our communities and provide habitats for wildlife.
  • The QGC is a not-for-profit initiative, which has not received Government funding.

QGC Website and social media channels

The QGC website www.queensgreencanopy.org and social media channels will go live on Monday 17 May, supported by a “takeover” of the Royal Family’s Instagram stories. Please follow the QGC and the launch at these handles and hashtags:

Instagram: @queensgreencanopy / @theroyalfamily / @clarencehouse
Twitter: @qgcanopy / @royalfamily / @clarencehouse
Facebook: @queensgreencanopy / @thebritishmonarchy
LinkedIn: @queensgreencanopy / @theroyalfamily

Hashtags: #queensgreencanopy #plantatreeforthejubilee #jubileetree #qgclaunch