West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is joining over 500 other MPs to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a network of forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.
The trees, two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel, will be planted in schools across West Lancashire, including St Anne’s Primary, West End Primary, St Francis of Assisi, Ormskirk High and last week at All Saints Appley Bridge.
They were donated to Rosie Cooper MP thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV, which in April screened a landmark documentary, The Queen’s Green Planet, following Her Majesty the Queen and this ambitious legacy project which brings together her deeply held commitment to the Commonwealth and her little-known love of trees.
At the heart of the film was a conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough filmed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace last summer. In a rare opportunity to see the Queen talking informally to Sir David, the conversation ranged from climate change, to conkers and of course trees, and was watched by 6.4 million viewers, making it ITV’s most watched factual programme of the year.
In support of the programme the Woodland Trust provided 50,000 trees for ITV viewers, and via the Rt Hon Frank Field MP, who conceived the QCC initiative, also offered a special commemorative pack to every MP in the UK.
MP Rosie, one of 508 MPs who took up the offer, said:
“I was delighted to take part in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project and to have these five schools eagerly come forward to receive a sapling was fantastic.
“Visiting All Saints in Appley Bridge last week was a pleasure, where the children have a real interest in the outdoors through their forest schools programme and the World War I Centenary Garden, which I visited back in 2014 when it opened.
“Whilst visiting, I was also told about their efforts to secure votes for the Aviva Community Fund project, where they have bid for IT upgrade funding. I hope the whole community gets behind them and cast their votes on the Aviva Community Fund website.”
The website can be found here https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-1425
Mrs Janet Dunn, Headteacher at All Saints Appley Bridge Primary School said:
“Our thanks to Rosie for inviting us to take part in this Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy which the children were really excited about and getting to meet Rosie.
“One pupil even got to raise an important issue with Rosie about speeding near her house, as part of her own Archbishop of York Young Leaders Award.
“We are very grateful for Rosie’s support for our school and encouraging others to log on to the Aviva website and support our cause.”
Speaking about the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy programme, Woodland Trust Chief Executive Beccy Speight said:
“We are delighted so many MPs have decided to join us in our bid to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. We all need trees. They are a cornerstone of our landscape and countryside, forming an essential and cherished part of our cultural identity. They are crucial in improving soil health and water quality, reducing carbon, trapping pollutants, slowing the flow of flood water, sheltering livestock, providing a home for wildlife or a space for us to breathe. I hope the residents of West Lancashire will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”
Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said:
“As the Woodland Trust’s largest corporate partner, we’re committed to raising awareness of the importance of the UK’s woods and trees, and contributing to their conservation. I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by woods, so trees have a particular resonance with me. Sainsbury’s recently planted its three millionth tree with the Trust, and the thought of being able to get so many more in the ground as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy with the support of so many MPs is an exciting prospect.”
About The Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.
The Trust has three key aims: i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable, ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life, iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.
Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 22,500 hectares. Access to its woods is free.
About The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy
The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) is a unique network of forest conservation projects which unites the Commonwealth family of nations to save one of the world’s most important natural habitats. Established in the name of Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth, this initiative is committed to raising awareness of the value of established indigenous forests, and saving them for future generations, as well as planting new forest.
Sainsbury’s has supported the Woodland Trust since 2004 with the launch of free range Woodland eggs. Since then donations through product sales have expanded to chicken, turkey, apples and honey.
The partnership has helped the Woodland Trust to plant three million trees, including establishing a special Sainsbury’s Wood at The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood in Leicestershire.
The partnership has also enabled the Woodland Trust to provide support and advice to Sainsbury’s on tree planting and maintenance to deliver to their farmers across the UK. Most recently, Sainsbury’s is supporting the Woodland Trust’s First World War Centenary Woods project.