The beginning of a 'Tree'-mendous year!

Team work. Two male generations working in a family garden and scooping the soil for a new fruit tre

The Queen's Green Canopy initiative encourages all generations to plant trees - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

To mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, local authorities, businesses, schools, community groups and individuals will be invited to plant a tree. Coined The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), the unique initiative encourages people to play their part in enhancing the environment by planting trees between October to March, commencing again in October 2022.

On a local level, Devon County Council has already distributed 70 free tree packs to mark the 70 years of Her Majesty’s reign, each containing 45 trees, protective spirals and canes. These will be planted by landowners across Devon. While in October 2021, the Royal Naval Old Comrades of Sidmouth led the way in support of the QGC on Trafalgar Day by planting an English oak at Long Park in the town.

Following on from this, Sidmouth Arboretum, the community group promoting the tree heritage of the Sid Valley, has several QGC plans for the year ahead. Diana East, president of the group said: "We're working on a project, currently in its infancy, that aims to identify and highlight 70 champion trees in the Sid Valley. All nominations are welcome for inclusion in this round-up of our tallest, oldest, rarest, most beautiful trees."  

There will also be an opportunity to acquire a free tree during the February half term from King's Garden Centre. Working with Saving Devon’s Treescapes, a project of Devon Wildlife Trust, Sidmouth Arboretum will be distributing 200 free small trees and offering advice on planting and caring for the young saplings. Speaking about getting a tree, Diana said: "It's not possible for the nurseries to suddenly produce a vast increase in the stock of trees.  So, my advice is to get in early!"

old comrades planting tree in sidmouth

Naval Comrades: Richard Waring (RNOCA Chair), Richard Long (President), Peter O'Brien (Vice-Chair), Chris Pink (Vice-President), Andrew Rugg-Gunn (Hon. Secretary). - Credit: Ed Dolphin

Other plans for the group include a landscaping project at Higher Brook Meadow in Sidford, where around 50 properties overlook a central green space that is calling out for a facelift. At the request of residents who are keen to support the QGC project, the team at Sidmouth Arboretum will work with the EDDC Horticulture Officer to redesign the entire area which includes a children's play area and an oak tree planted by a resident who is now 95 years old.

Another planting marathon will be taking place at Stowford Community Centre, where the community group will be installing 200 hedge trees, hopefully with the support from children from the local primary schools.

Further projects include a Trees in Art exhibition at Kennaway House from April, 1 to 8, and Tree Week from May, 2 to 8, with guided walks and talks around the parks, green spaces and private gardens of the Sid Valley.

Throughout the year, people will be urged to register their tree planting on the interactive map on the QGC website: www.queensgreencanopy.org. Ultimately, the QGC seeks to highlight the significant value of trees as nature’s simple but highly effective way to clean the air we breathe and slow the impact of climate change. 

Tips on where to plant a tree
A step-by-step ‘reforesting’ toolkit, created by the Devon Local Nature Partnership, is available to anyone wishing to plant trees in Devon.
While most new tree cover is a positive thing, new saplings in the wrong locations could result in unintended negative consequences and actually reduce biodiversity in certain areas. The seven-step tool kit includes ideas on planting, where to can get further advice and possible funding.
For the Right Place, Right Tree guidance visit www.devonlnp.org.uk