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Groups and organisations from across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are already getting involved in the Queen’s Green Canopy by planning and carrying out their own planting projects.

Below are just some of the examples of projects which have taken place so far.

Yaxley Parish Council

Yaxley Parish Council has been looking at replacing some of its tree stock that have been lost due to disease or damage. When we started to plan this we became aware of the Queen’s Green Canopy project and felt we could tie in planting the replacement trees with Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. So our original plan to replace 11 felled trees began to grow in numbers.

We are lucky to have a Countryside Volunteers Group in Yaxley and their Chairman soon came onboard and gave a cash donation to purchase four Cherry trees in memory of his sister as well as offering help in planting the trees. We placed an order for 22 trees, including Cherry trees, Hornbeam and Apple with Barcham Trees of Ely in May of this year and these were delivered in September. It was really easy to order the trees and Barcham’s were very helpful. That was the easy bit, the trees were 2 metres in height with a substantial root ball, they certainly were not light in weight. So thought had to be given into how we would plant these trees in the five green spaces that we had identified. Having done some research and in finding that hiring a petrol borer during a pandemic was impossible we approached our friendly fence company and they very kindly lent us their fence post borer. Tree stakes and straps were sourced from the internet over the summer so come October we were all good to go.

The Grounds Team managed to plant all 22 trees in seven working days, no mean feat as they still had all their other daily jobs to do. The trees will now be included in our tree stock and will be maintained by the Parish Council and loved by all.

Helen Taylor, Yaxley Parish Council

Tree planting in Yaxley

Cambridge Past, Present & Future - Coton Countryside Reserve

At Cambridge Past, Present & Future we are delighted to be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and creating a sustainable legacy for her.

Thanks to a kind donation from the Woodland Trust’s Free Trees for Schools & Communities programme, we have been able to plant more than 400 trees at Coton Countryside Reserve.

Twenty volunteers generously gave up two hours one Saturday last month to turn farmland into a new woodland which will provide wildlife habitat, reduce air pollution and store carbon. We helped by cutting the vegetation in advance and marking the areas where they should plant, and on the day we gave the volunteers training to show them the best way to plant a new tree so as to minimise the number that don’t survive their first year.

But we are not resting on our laurels. We are preparing to plant a further 4,000 trees this winter at both Coton Countryside Reserve and Wandlebury Country Park and we will be calling on volunteers to brave the cold temperatures.

For anyone interested in getting involved, tools, instructions and trees will be provided. You can find out more on the Cambridge Past, Present & Future website.

James Littlewood, Chief Executive of Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Tree planting at Coton countyside reserve

Tim Alban-Jones

I have always loved trees- there’s something about them that's hugely appealing; I don’t know whether it’s their shape, their enormous variety, the fruits they produce or whatever else, but they have always fascinated me.

We have an elderly apple tree in our garden and this year I thought it would be good to plant another fruit tree to go alongside it. I decided on a greengage tree because they are quite unusual and their fruit is utterly delicious.

I scoured the local garden centres and was thrilled when I found a single greengage tree for sale. I quickly bought it and transported it home. I planted it near the apple tree taking care that it wasn’t too close. It wasn’t long before the few remaining leaves fell off leaving just the bare stem and branches.

One of the wonderful things about fruit trees is that out of these unpromising-looking bare twigs is the potential for new life and juicy, mouth-watering fruit – in a few years. And even before it starts producing fruit it will be doing its bit to help combat climate change as well as celebrating 70 years of Her Majesty the Queen’s reign.

Tim Alban-Jones, Peterborough resident

Greengage tree

Bishop of Huntingdon

It was the annual College of Bishops’ Meeting in September 2021 when all Church of England bishops were gifted a beautiful broadleaf tree (a hazel or a hornbeam) by the Forestry Commission, as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative.

At a green-themed breakfast, we were delighted to be presented with the saplings by the Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, lead Bishop for the Environment. What a great encouragement to us all to plant them as an outward symbol of our commitment to “pray, speak out and take action” on climate change. It provided an excellent resource for us all to work visibly together in our communities for climate justice in Christ’s name – with the Forestry Commission, as part of the Church of England's national environmental programme, and our local communities.

Since I was due to visit St Augustine’s School in Peterborough the next week, it was an obvious choice to ask them whether they would like me to bring the sapling along and, given its Forest School ethos, the school welcomed the idea with open arms. So the hornbeam was duly planted and I look forward to visiting it in due course.

The Rt Revd Dr Dagmar Winter, Bishop of Huntingdon

Bishop of Huntingdon

Wimblington Parish Council

Wimblington wanted to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, her tenure being unprecedented.

We have planted a silver birch tree in our War Memorial Playing Field, as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy which was a concept we were eager to support. We are also arranging to plant a second tree – an oak tree - which has been grown from an acorn by one of our residents and gifted to the parish council.

What better way to plant our tree than with the help of our MP, Steve Barclay, who also happens to hold the office of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office and part of this office is to look after and administer the part of the Queen’s estate that she holds as Duke of Lancaster.

We were joined by some of our parish councillors and several residents, to mark the occasion.

We will also be celebrating the Jubilee by lighting our beacon on Thursday 2 June and will also have a huge party on Saturday 4 June, with a children’s tea party, seniors’ tea party and then evening hog roast and entertainment for all.

Steve Barclay MP planting a silver birch tree on the War Memorial Playing Field, Wimblington

East Cambridgeshire District Council – Create an Orchard Project

As part of our 2021/22 top twenty actions addressing the climate crisis, East Cambridgeshire District Council purchased 200 native fruit trees from East Anglia Apples and Orchards project and invited local groups to ‘create their own orchards’ for free.

The project had applications from across the district from schools and parishes to local community groups. The only criteria were having permission to plant from the landowners, space for the trees to flourish, regular access to the public and also for the trees, once planted, to be added to the Queen’s Green Canopy.

It has been wonderful to receive photos and updates from the groups involved and we look forward to seeing these orchards grow and prosper, providing shade and nourishment for animals and people for years to come.

All 200 trees have now been collected and we hope to see all of them represented on the Queen’s Green Canopy map in the near future.

East Cambridgeshire District Council - Climate Team

Newly planted trees at St Andrew’s Church, Witchford

Newly planted trees at St Andrew’s Church1