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Prince Charles launches ‘Plant a Tree’ drive to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

PTI, May 17, 2021, 6:26 PM IST

London: Britain’s Prince Charles on Monday launched a new ‘Plant a Tree’ drive, dubbed ”Tree-bilee”, in celebration of his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

The 72-year-old heir to the British throne, who is known for his conservationist drives, said the ”Queen’s Green Canopy” (QGC) initiative will invite people all over the United Kingdom to start the initiative from the tree planting season in October this year through to next year as a celebration of 70 years since the Queen’s accession to the throne in February 1952.

Everyone from individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates will be encouraged to play their part in the unique environmental project.

”Whether you are an individual having to plant a single sapling in your garden, a school or community group planting a tree, that charity or business intending to plant a whole avenue of trees, or a farmer looking to create new hedgerows, everyone across the country can get involved as well as inviting people to plant new trees,” said Prince Charles, in a video message.

”There is a reason for this profoundly symbolic act. Planting a tree is a statement of hope and faith in the future. As we approach this most special year, I invite you all to join me to plant a tree for the jubilee – in other words, a Tree-bilee,” he said.

As well as inviting the planting of new trees, the Queen’s Green Canopy will dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the UK and identify 70 ancient trees to celebrate the 95-year-old monarch’s 70 years of service to the nation.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also thrown his support behind the initiative.

”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,” he said.

All the trees planted as part of the QGC drive will be logged on an interactive map. One of the founding partners, Royal Mail, has planted trees in every part of the UK to kick start the project but everyone else is being asked to wait until the next planting season starting in October, giving schools, villages, businesses and individuals the coming summer months to plan.

The Woodland Trust is giving away 3 million saplings to support the project.

”On top of expanding tree and woodland cover across the country this is also a celebration of ancient trees and ancient woodlands, not only marking her majesty’s contribution over seven decades but also looking back into the distant past and recognising that some of the trees we have in the landscape today were actually growing here during the Iron Age, even before the Roman occupation,” said Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England and committee member of the QGC.

“So there’s a great deal of history in our trees as well as a very important role that they’re going to have to play into the future,” he said.

The project is one of many elements being planned for a UK-wide celebration next year as the Queen reaches the important milestone. The monarch has herself planted more than 1,500 trees around the world during her 69-year reign so far.

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