County VIPs mark the Platinum Jubilee
14 March 2022 : Council news, Environment
Dignitaries from across the county came together last Friday as part of the National Association of Civic Officers' Tree Planting Day, to plant trees and unveil commemorative plaques in a tribute to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
With 11 March 2022 signifying the 70th day of the year in which The Queen reached the 70th anniversary of her accession, Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council held ceremonies at 10am in Hawthorn Park, Taunton; 11am at Fox’s Field, Wellington; and 1pm in Culvercliffe, Minehead.
Hawthorn Park was attended by the Mayor of Taunton, Cllr Sue Lees; Fox’s Field by the Deputy Mayor of Wellington, Cllr Vivienne Stock-Williams, Deputy RFO & Assistant Clerk to Wellington Town Council, Alice Kendall and Transition Town Wellington (TTW) volunteer, Steve Saunders; and Culvercliffe by the Deputy Mayor of Minehead, Cllr Andy Kingston-James.
Also in attendance at all three ceremonies were the Chair of SWT, Cllr Hazel Prior-Sankey and Consort, Mr Adrian Prior-Sankey; SWT Portfolio holder for Climate Change, Cllr Dixie Darch; Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Brigadier David Godsal MBE DL from the Somerset Lieutenancy; and staff from SWT’s Parks & Open Spaces and Climate Change teams.
During the ceremonies, the dignitaries unveiled plaques and planted a final tree at each of the three sites as part of a nationwide project known as the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC). Initiated by HRH The Prince of Wales, the QGC encourages individuals and organisations to plant trees in celebration of HM Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign and to mitigate climate change.
The plaques unveiled mark the completion of 190 trees planted across all three sites. SWT’s tree planting for the QGC began in January this year, starting with 85 trees in Hawthorn Park, including acers, conifers and fruit trees featuring in separate zones and mixed varieties occupying two further areas. 105 trees followed at Culvercliffe arranged in two parallel lines to create an avenue adjacent to the coastal path, comprising common beech, English oak, field maple, hawthorn, lime, rowan and silver birch species.
Many more trees have also been planted by TTW and local volunteers at Fox’s Field with funding contributed by SWT.
Photos of the trees and dignitaries have been uploaded to an interactive map via the QGC website.
Chair of SWT, Cllr Hazel Prior-Sankey said: “The Queen’s Green Canopy is a wonderful initiative and a worthy tribute, befitting Her Majesty’s incredible 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.
“The collection of species planted over the three sites will benefit wildlife, ecosystems and air quality, as well as providing beauty and seasonal colour for the enjoyment of generations to come.
“It was an honour to be involved and I’d like to thank the other dignitaries for joining me in planting the final trees and unveiling the plaques. God bless Her Majesty!”
Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Brigadier David Godsal MBE DL, said: “It's a fantastic idea to plant trees for the Jubilee because it's of benefit to everyone and we're doing well in Somerset with 71 pins already on the map, representing about 9,359 trees of which many have been planted by schools.
“I therefore urge everyone to keep planting until the 31st March, and when the planting season starts again from October until the end of the year.”
For further information about the QGC or to get involved, visit queensgreencanopy.org.