The Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting project
in East Sussex (including Brighton & Hove)
The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) Project is a national tree planting initiative to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, and the service she has given over the last 70 years. The East Sussex Lieutenancy is actively driving and inspiring this project, assisted by Action in rural Sussex. Project Administrator Mark Whitaker is working to support and encourage people to plant trees for the Jubilee throughout East Sussex and Brighton & Hove.
Why it’s important
This exciting initiative gives people and communities everywhere the chance to share in celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee in 2022. There are trees suitable for small gardens as well as large ones. But we also hope you will find imaginative ways to come together through neighbourhood groups, gardening and environmental groups, clubs, societies and Women’s Institutes to plant trees. In some cases organisations will own a suitable area of land, but if not you could approach the owners of unused pockets of land which could be brought to life with fruit trees or suitable native species.
This project aims to create a national canopy of trees to help reduce the impact of climate change, filter air, increase wildlife habitat and improve the environment for everyone.
Tree planting, in the right circumstances, offers great potential to help buffer the impacts of man-made climate change. Trees lock up carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, as well as improving soils and soil carbon storage. They can also provide flood risk management benefits, pollination benefits and biodiversity benefits – as long as the right tree is planted in the right place.
What’s been happening
This exciting initiative in East Sussex started with the planting by Deputy Lieutenant, the Marquess of Abergavenny of a pear tree, one of 70 trees planted at City Academy Whitehawk, in Brighton & Hove. Speaking to students at the planting ceremony, Lord Abergavenny said ‘The trees will help the environment and support this country’s drive to curb carbon emissions. The aim of the initiative is to encourage the planting of millions of trees in towns, cities and the countryside across the UK.’
While most commemorative tree planting will take place in autumn/winter 2022, some planting has happened already, including at local hospices. The first, at St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne, in early November 2021 was honoured with a Royal visit by the Duchess of Cornwall, and trees have also been planted at St Michael’s, in St Leonards and at St Peter & St James Hospice in Chailey.
In Eastbourne, in an event attended by lots of interested local people, 30 Sakura cherry trees given to Eastbourne by the Japanese Government were planted in Hampden Park.
At Eridge Park Estate near Tunbridge Wells, the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex Andrew Blackman and Nusrat Ghani MP planted two disease-resistant elms in December, close to where there used to be a beautiful line of elms.
Other tree plantings are planned in the coming months, on the Spa Valley Railway near Groombridge Station and in the South Downs National Park at Glyndebourne. The main launch for the Queen’s Green Canopy in East Sussex will be at the Heathfield Agricultural Show on 28 May 2022 where we hope everyone interested in planting trees for the Jubilee year will come along and join us at our stand!
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. Trees need to be carefully chosen for the place where they will be planted and there needs to be a plan to care for them for the first few years of their life.
Most gardens can accommodate a tree and there are plenty of options for smaller spaces, whether decorative or fruiting. If you don’t have a garden or would like to plant a tree elsewhere, you will need to obtain the landowner’s permission and make sure the site is suitable for tree planting. Inappropriate planting can cause ecological damage, so seek advice if that might be an issue.
Some trees are generalists and can thrive almost anywhere but others may have specific requirements eg soil type, how wet or dry the ground is, exposure. Make sure you choose a tree that will grow happily in your local conditions. Usually those native trees growing naturally in your local landscape are the species that will thrive in those conditions and provide the greatest benefit to wildlife.
There is more detailed tree-planting guidance from the Sussex Wildlife Trust here: Tree Planting Guide for QGC.
Where to buy trees in Sussex
These are some local suppliers but it doesn’t necessarily mean all their trees are grown locally or with local seeds:
http://www.specialbranchtrees.org.uk/ Small scale project using locally-sourced seed and grown at Stanmer Park, Brighton.
The Woodland Trust also supplies trees (some for free to schools and community groups and some large scale plantings): Plant a Tree for the Jubilee – Woodland Trust
Sources of further information
For further advice on tree planting and the Queen’s Green Canopy visit the website here The Queen’s Green Canopy (queensgreencanopy.org).
Please record any trees you plant on the Queen’s Green Canopy map here Map – The Queen’s Green Canopy (queensgreencanopy.org)
If you are keen to mark your tree planting with a commemorative plaque you can buy them here: Queens Green Canopy | RBLI
There is a useful Woodland Trust guide to trees through the seasons here: twigged.pdf (woodlandtrust.org.uk)
For information on the East Sussex Lieutenancy see here: HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 – Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex (east-sussex-lieutenancy.org.uk)
For information on the Queen’s Green Canopy in Eastbourne see here: The QGC in Eastbourne (eastbourneqgc.org)
You can reach Mark Whitaker, Project Administrator for the Queen’s Green Canopy East Sussex at email@example.com
The QGC East Sussex Planning Group kindly supports this initiative with advice, ideas and action, planting trees on their own land. The group comprises The Marquess of Abergavenny DL, David Allam DL, Deborah Bedford JP DL, Major General John Moore-Bick CBE DL, Kathy Gore OBE DL, Carola Godman Irvine DL, Lord Lucas, Graham Peters DL, Vice Lord-Lieutenant Sara Stonor DL and Michael Rudman DL.