East Sussex wood that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh author chosen as part of ‘ancient canopy’ celebrating The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
An iconic East Sussex ‘literary’ wood owned by Earl De La Warr has been named in nationwide initiative to celebrate and protect trees.
HRH The Prince of Wales unveils special sites as part of Queen’s Green Canopy, an initiative marking Her Majesty’s 70 years of service
The location that inspired the ‘100 Acre Wood’ in Winnie-the-Pooh has been named as one of a national network of ancient woodlands chosen to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The iconic spot on the Buckhurst Estate in East Sussex, owned by the 11th Earl De La Warr, was revealed on Sunday (May 1) by HRH The Prince of Wales as one of an ‘ancient canopy’ of 70 woods and 70 trees celebrating Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.
The location that inspired one-time local resident A.A. Milne is a diverse, wildlife-rich, spot dating back to before 1600, with a mix of species including ash, beech, oak, silver birch, sweet chestnut, cherry, rowan, whitebeam, Scots pine, Douglas fir and larch.
‘I have enormous admiration for Her Majesty and it’s highly unlikely there will ever be another Platinum jubilee,’ said Earl De La Warr. ‘We were therefore keen to commemorate this huge milestone – and it seemed fitting, given that last year marked both the 95th birthday of Her Majesty and the 95th anniversary of the first publication of Winnie-the-Pooh, that we applied for our wood to become part of this celebration of the nation’s natural, living heritage.
‘I’m so proud to be the owner of such an iconic wood – it is a magical place which has a special place in the imagination of generations of children.
‘This is a fantastic initiative which will raise awareness of treasured habitats across the UK and the importance of conserving them for future generations,’ added Lord De La Warr.
Land agent Jonathan Morris of CLM, who advises the Buckhurst Estate, described the location immortalised through the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin, the character based on AA Milne’s son, as ‘unique and important to our natural and literary history’.
Mr Morris added: ‘People love walking on the footpaths through the wood. It’s brimming with biodiversity ranging from woodland birds and several species of raptor to deer. There is a wide variety of invertebrates, flowers and fauna.
‘Buckhurst is still very much a working estate,’ he added. ‘It produces organic meat from its herd of traditional Sussex and Longhorn cattle, and is home to the oldest registered Shetland Ponies in the world, bred by Lady De La Warr. As with all our great country estates, though, it blends a commercial approach with a strong commitment to conservation.’
The designation of the ‘ancient canopy’ is part of the wider Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) project which is also inviting people to ‘plant a tree for the Jubilee’.
The Marquess of Abergavenny, chair of the Lord Lieutenant’s QGC East Sussex Planning Group, said: ‘The aim is to encourage the planting of millions of trees in towns, cities and the countryside across the UK. This will help the environment and support this country’s drive to curb carbon emissions.’
The Marquess of Abergavenny has planted trees at his home, the Eridge Park Estate near Tunbridge Wells, the location of one of England’s oldest enclosed deer parks.
‘Trees are an integral part of the character and history of this estate, so we will do all we can to protect and preserve those we have, while continuing our centuries-old tradition of planting new ones. Planting to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee makes it all the more special,’ he said.
Announcing the nationwide network of 70 ancient woodlands and 70 ancient trees dedicated to Her Majesty, The Prince of Wales said: ‘Trees and woodlands have a profound significance for us all – their steadfast and reassuring presence a reminder of our long-serving Sovereign and her enduring dedication.’
He launched the project in the grounds of Dumfries House under a sycamore, which was planted in 1599. ‘It is remarkable that this ancient tree is as old as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Caravaggio’s David and Goliath,’ he said.
There is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in planting a commemorative tree, whether in your own garden or as part of a community group, a parish council, a church, a school, a charity or a business. If you’d like to learn more about the QGC and get involved see Queen’s Green Canopy | Action in rural Sussex