Last night on ITV, we saw two of the nations favourite people in their nineties discussing nature and trees in particular as the “Queen’s Green Planet” showed Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II strolling in the grounds of Buckingham Palace with the naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.
The planting of trees at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Great Park has gone on for many years, and as the programme showed especially in the days of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Now The Queen is launching the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a plan for protected forests across the countries of the Commonwealth. Windsor Great Park itself has been in the control by the monarch for over a thousand years and has many trees that old, it in fact contains more veteran trees than any forest in Europe.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy is an initiative that dates from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in 2015 and was originally proposed by the MP Rt. Hon Frank Field. We all know the benefits that can be derived from trees including carbon reduction, and flood alleviation to say nothing of the biodiversity a forest can host.
There are many plans throughout the Commonwealth, and one of the aims of this project is to pool the forestry skills and knowledge so that they may be used by any of the fifty-three nations and indeed that figure could still grow.
The younger Royals were also involved in the programme, with Princes William and Harry speaking of projects in Canada and the Caribbean, and the actor and campaigner Angeline Jolie spoke of a project in Namibia. Just this Monday, the Countess of Wessex planted at tree as part of the project as Royal Central reported.
In Canada, the project centres around the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, where the project will help with an education centre for this Rainforest where after ten years of negotiations an ecosystem-based management system has been agreed which helps the first nation people who live there, the environment and allows for limited logging.
In the Caribbean, there are many projects one is the Victoria Park Botanical Gardens in St John’s Antigua. This project has helped create a family friendly green space in the capital where residents and tourists alike can find a haven to relax in and a hub for environmental events.
In Namibia, N/a’an ku sê Forest Conservation Revegetation Project is seeking to conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia, and has amongst other projects set up a nursery to grow plants and trees using recycled rainwater. Using the Nursery as a foundation, the project will involve the collection and propagation of indigenous seed and the planting of propagated seedlings to reverse land degradation and restore indigenous forests.
In this country, ITV linked to this programme have worked with the Woodland Trust and their senior commercial partner Sainsbury’s to arrange for 50,000 trees to be sent out and planted all over this country in the Autumn.
It is hoped that the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project will not only provide a physical and lasting legacy of The Queen’s leadership of the Commonwealth, but also raise the profile of the Commonwealth and show what can be achieved for Forestry Conservation by fifty-three countries acting in unison.