Tuesday 21 October 2014

Jubilee tree planting target hit

Published 27/03/2013 | 00:06

The Queen plants a tree in the Diamond Jubilee Wood on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk to mark her Diamond Jubilee

A bid to plant six million trees across the UK to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee has successfully reached the final milestone, the Woodland Trust said.

The Princess Royal is planting the six millionth tree to mark the end of a scheme which has seen more than 12,000 acres of new woodland created, an area three times the size of all London's Royal Parks.

The Jubilee Woods project has seen the planting of one 500-acre "diamond woodland" in the National Forest in Leicestershire, and 60 diamond woods of more than 60 acres each.

The scheme also involved creating 400 jubilee woods of more than an acre, and providing 3,500 communities and 40,000 schools with free packs of trees.

Millions of people including members of the Royal Family and the Queen herself got involved in the project, which was the Woodland Trust's biggest ever tree planting campaign.

The Queen kick-started a drive to plant a million trees in one month last February to mark the beginning of the six million tree Jubilee Woods campaign, by planting a tree at Sandringham.

Sue Holden, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, said a range of organisations and landowners had joined forces to help improve the environment and pay a special tribute to the Queen.

And she said: "The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with only 13% woodland cover, so it's all the more important to plant trees and create woods. The Woodland Trust has the ambitious aim of doubling woodland cover by 2050.

"This means creating new areas of habitat around our most valuable sites. It means protecting and conserving existing valuable habitats, such as our continued work to tackle tree disease and pests, and it means restoring damaged habitats. Jubilee Woods has been part of this holistic approach."

Although the Jubilee planting campaign is over, planting and protecting trees was even more important with woods facing threats such as ash dieback tree disease and the increasing pressure of development, the Woodland Trust said.

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