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SWT to plant 190 trees for the Queen’s platinum Jubilee

27 January 2022 : Council news, Environment

Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council is planting 190 trees as part of a nationwide project to commemorate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

Known as the ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ (QGC), the project encourages individuals and organisations to plant trees across the UK as a tribute to the Monarch’s 70 years on the throne and to mitigate climate change.

To support the project, SWT has allocated land in its parks and open spaces for tree planting in Hawthorn Park, Taunton and at Culvercliffe, Minehead.

Planting of the first 85 trees began Monday, 24 January, in Hawthorn Park. Acers, conifers and fruit trees will each feature in separate zones with mixed varieties occupying two further areas.

105 trees designated for Culvercliffe will follow, arranged in two parallel lines to create an avenue adjacent to the coastal path. A combination of native species will be used, including common beech, English oak, field maple, hawthorn, lime, rowan and silver birch.

The planting and subsequent maintenance work for Taunton and Minehead is being undertaken by SWT's Open Spaces Team. Both schemes serve to provide wildlife rich habitats, as well as a glorious palette of colours that change throughout the year.

Although the number is yet to be confirmed, the Council is funding the planting of many more trees at Fox’s Field in Wellington, which is currently being leased to Transition Town Wellington (TTW).

Led by TTW, the first planting stage commenced during National Tree Week in December with help from local volunteers. A forest garden, wildflower meadow, natural amphitheatre and a remembrance garden are also included in TTW’s plan for Fox’s Field.

Taunton, Minehead and Wellington’s planting schemes will complete at the end of February to coincide with the tree planting season.

Each tree planted by the Council and TTW will be uploaded to an interactive map via the QGC website, and commemorative plaques and QGC waymarkers will be installed at each site.

Cllr Dixie Darch, Executive Member for Climate Change, said: “The Queen’s Green Canopy is a wonderful initiative which not only celebrates Her Majesty the Queen’s long reign, but also helps to tackle climate change and will leave a legacy for people in Somerset West and Taunton to enjoy for generations to come.

“It also builds on our free tree giveaway scheme where we've gifted 371 trees to town and parish councils over the last two years – all of which helps towards meeting our climate goal for a net-zero district by 2030.

“Everyone can get involved – whether they have space for an individual sapling, or a larger woodland project – every tree really does count.”

Chair of SWT, Cllr Hazel Prior-Sankey, added: “We’re delighted and proud to be leading by example and encouraging people across the district to mark the Jubilee through tree planting.

"I urge individuals, schools, community groups and businesses to take part and register their tree planting on the interactive map via the Queen’s Green Canopy website.”

For further information about the QGC or to get involved, visit queensgreencanopy.org.