'Paradise Grove' unveiled in Eastbourne as trees planted in Queen's memory

The first of 70 trees designed to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne was planted in Paradise Down last week.

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The poignant ceremony took place on Saturday, 19 November and more than 100 residents – including representatives from a range of local organisations – came together to bear witness.

It’s hoped the new scheme will inspire engagement with the natural world amongst Eastbourne residents for generations to come.

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Alongside the planting of the first tree – a crab apple with grafted mistletoe – the event also featured live drumming, a ‘prayer for trees’ led by Father Giles Carpenter of St John's Parish and the ancient British tradition of ‘Beating the Bounds’, which involves beating parish boundaries with willow wands to imprint them in memory.

Planting the first of 70 trees at Paradise DownPlanting the first of 70 trees at Paradise Down
Planting the first of 70 trees at Paradise Down

The plans for Paradise Grove, which promise fruit and nut trees, as well as an entrance to the Downs, were unveiled some time before last week's event by the Eastbourne Canopy Team. Drawings can be found on their Facebook page.

Notable attendants included Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex Andrew Blackman, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council David Tutt, and Lord Ralph Lucas, a member of the House of Lords Committee for Environment and Climate Change.

“Paradise Grove will form part of an enduring legacy for our late Queen instigated through her Green Canopy initiative, which inspired people across the country to come together around the wonderful common cause of tree-planting, regardless of their views of the monarchy,” he said.

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“As a member of the House of Lords Committee on Environment and Climate Change, I have an ever-deepening understanding of the importance of engaging people of all ages in these issues. The committee recently published a report, ‘In our hands: behaviour change for climate and environmental goals’ which is available online and which I would encourage as many people as possible to read.

“I hope all residents take the opportunity to visit Paradise Grove, a wonderful scheme that truly belongs to the whole town.”

Andrew Blackman added: “I am delighted to support the planting of a grove of 70 trees and shrubs at Paradise Grove as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. This significant new planting in Eastbourne will be a beautiful addition to the town.”

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