The Queen’s Green Canopy – a fabulous nationwide tree planting initiative

In 2022, it will be our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and it is being celebrated in what I would consider to be the best of ways: by planting trees across the nation.

Trees are the green anchors of our environment, giving shade, beauty, habitat and calm in a frenetic world. They span the artistic and the scientific – inspiring poetry and literature whilst offering hope to climate scientists, soil scientists, and ecologists for their carbon sequestering abilities and support of biodiverse food webs.

It is becoming increasingly evident that a landscape that has been denuded of its trees and hedgerows is a pale shadow of its former richness, both to humanity and to the ecosystems that rely on them.  Things do not have to stay as they are, however! There is a Japanese proverb that says ‘The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, and the second best time is today’. We may have missed the best time, but the second best time is very much within our grasp.

As part of ‘The Queen’s Green Canopy’, we as a parish can play our part on a number of levels:

  1. Individuals can plant a tree or trees in their garden, or could replace their fence with a hedge – this would be wonderful, and would make a great difference.

  2. SPC could add some trees to its existing woodlands, which are already well maintained and treasured.

  3. Local landowners could plant up field boundaries with trees or hedges, or increase the width and height of existing hedges

  4. We could plant a whole new wood, preferably, but not necessarily, with public access – wouldn’t this be great?!

SPC would be delighted if we could manage all of these options, if at all possible!

Nothing has been decided, other than that we will definitely be playing our part. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved in any way (flo.garvey@sarrattparishcouncil.gov.uk)  – our biggest hurdle will be obtaining land (as a donation or at a peppercorn rent), or funds to purchase land, and we will also need volunteers to plant the trees and look after them in their first few vulnerable years. This is a very open project – do come forward with suggestions. We (SPC) can provide advice on where, what and when to plant ( and may even be able to provide saplings via the Woodland Trust, who are partners in this initiative) – the aim is to start planting this coming Autumn, but the project is also running for the whole of the Jubilee year of 2022, so for those who are more tortoise than hare, there is no great hurry. Just think what a terrific legacy we could create for a future Sarratt.