|Over 1,300 trees are being planted across West Oxfordshire through the collaborative efforts of the District Council and local volunteer groups to celebrate the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. Launched last year to honour the now late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, the project encourages individuals and communities across the UK to plant more trees to create a lasting living legacy for generations to come.|
|Councillor Andrew Prosser, Cabinet Member for Climate Change at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Since the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the planting has taken on extra poignancy, and we’re delighted to be one of the organisations taking part. We are very grateful to the Woodland Trust and Tree Appeal for their generous donation of trees which have been earmarked for planting at a number of sites across West Oxfordshire, with the help of teams of volunteers and local school children. A single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insects and fungi and once mature these new trees and hedges will provide shelter and an excellent source of food for native birds, as well as supporting insects and other mammals by creating new green corridors for our urban wildlife.”
Rachel Crookes, Countryside and Land Management Officer at West Oxfordshire District Council who has coordinated the events on behalf of the Council, said: “From cleaning the air, to reducing the risk of flooding by slowing the absorption of water into the ground or storing carbon, trees and hedgerows really are the heroes of nature, providing a multitude of environmental benefits and helping us to tackle climate change. Winter is the perfect time to get planting. There is such a wide variety of trees and hedgerow plants to choose from, suitable for all different spaces and soils. Anyone wanting to support local wildlife and take climate action, should consider planting a tree or hedge.”
A total of 420 hedgerow whips have recently been planted by West Oxfordshire District Council staff at Madley skatepark and the Bathing Place in Witney. Once established, these native plants will bolster the existing hedges and improve these urban environments for hedgehogs, birds and insects.
Witney’s Woodland Volunteers have lent their support by planting 210 hawthorn, dogwood, silver birch, rowan and hazel trees at Deer Park Wood. When mature the trees will screen the neighbouring industrial units and provide a corridor for wildlife.
Other planned events include the planting of 200 gorse plants by the Friends of North Leigh Common. The gorse will be planted in the new year as part of a wider programme of remedial works which are taking place to manage ash dieback on the common.
Later this week volunteers of Kilkenny Lane Country Park will be getting their spades at the ready to plant a hedgerow of hazel, blackthorn and dog rose at a care home in Carterton, while next month, pupils from Madley Brook Primary School, will be creating their own commemoration to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth by planting 360 plants, with each student being given the opportunity to plant at least one whip to create a hedgerow along the school’s playground boundary.
The new trees will be recorded on the Queen’s Green Canopy map which is documenting the nation’s tree planting efforts: https://queensgreencanopy.org/map-education-hub/