Pledges to plant at least 35,000 trees across the county have already been made by a range of groups.
But there are hopes that, by the end of 2022, 70,000 new trees could be in place to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – 1,000 for every year Her Majesty’s 70 years.
Now, the Lord Lieutenant’s Queen’s Green Canopy Team of Deputy Lieutenants are calling on the public to commit to planting their own tree to help reach the target.
Dr John Godfrey, chairman of the team, said: “The beauty of this campaign is that anyone can take part; families in their gardens, schools, community groups, neighbours working together, businesses – everyone is welcome; you can plant one tree, a small copse or a woodland; hedgerows can be included and there is even the option for a new forest of Sea Kelp off the coast of Worthing to be part of the initiative.
“We are very keen to hear from anyone who is to supporting the campaign – so if you are planning to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ please tell us about it so that we can make sure your contribution receives the recognition it deserves.”
The aim of the Queen’s Green Canopy campaign is to thank Her Majesty The Queen for her exceptional service over 70 years on the throne and to be a key part of celebrations planned for this year.
At the same time it will help promote the importance of tree planting and tree conservation to the environment.
All new trees can be added to a virtual map, covering the whole of the country, alongside 70 specially selected ancient trees and a dedicated network of 70 ancient woodlands across the UK.
Pledges to plant in the county include the South Downs National Park Authority, with plans for 4,000 trees in a range of different sites in West Sussex, The National Trust, which is aiming for 13,000 trees, Balcombe, Borde Hill, Goodwood, Leconfield and Wiston estates, which between them will add more than 20,000 trees.
Several local councils are also stepping forward, including Arundel, Adur and Worthing, Chichester, Horsham and West Hoathly, as well as sports and golf clubs.
Trees have already been planted at Brinsbury College, the South of England Agricultural Society Show Ground, Wiston Estate, Goodwood Estate with pupils from The March School, Rumboldswhyke Primary School in Chichester as part of a nationwide city schools initiative and the Slindon Estate.
Boy, 12, gets involved in the tree-planting campaign
The Queen’s Green Canopy Team is keen to gather stories and pictures from tree plantings to use in a special publication to celebrate the initiative later in the year.
The photographs will also form part of a regular features across Sussex Newspapers titles during 2022.
For the first in this series, Dr John Godfrey DL, who chairs the team, enlisted his 12-year-old grandson Ollie Godfrey to plant a beech tree in Northwood on the National Trust’s estate in Slindon.
Over the last seven years, the National Trust has undertaken its largest woodland restoration project ever, planting 15,000 trees on the 185-acre wood, which was cleared for food production in both world wars of the 20th century.
Until quite recently, the area which has now been planted up, was shown on maps as ‘War Ag fields’, reflecting the role of the old War Agricultural Executives in requiring land to be ploughed up for the growing of cereals and vegetables.
Now, woodland will, in due course, cover the area of a medium-sized farm, bringing a wide range of environmental benefits.
Ollie, who is in his final year at Dorset House School in Bury is one of the ‘Eco-Prefects’ and is involved in a number of environmental initiatives on the school campus:
He said: ’It was great to see what the National Trust are doing at North Wood and to make a contribution to the project.”
How can you get involved in the campaign?
Further information about Queen’s Green Canopy, including useful tips on how to plant and care for new trees is available atwww.queensgreencanopy.org
To enable the team to keep track of new trees being planted, tell the West Sussex team about your planting plans.
Send an email and any photographs to [email protected]