Weekly Column 31.10.18

It was lovely to join local people, councillors and school children in Wetley Rocks, Dilhorne, Caverswall, Bagnall and Biddulph last week to plant 5 trees - two silver birch, two rowan and a hazel 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 were donated thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV, which in April screened a landmark documentary, The Queen's Green Planet.

At the heart of the documentary was a conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough filmed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace last summer where the topics ranged from climate change, to conkers and of course trees, and was watched by 6.4 million viewers.

Each MP was given the chance to receive 5 saplings for their constituency and I wrote to local councils in Staffordshire Moorlands asking if they would like to receive one. The trees were allocated to the first 5 councils to apply.

The saplings appeared to be quite small but we were told that this is the perfect size for planting in November or March as they are dormant during these periods and if correctly planted and well maintained, the trees can expect to reach 12-25m in height. 

I look forward to seeing the 5 trees grow and flourish and am really pleased to have been part of these tree planting ceremonies to link Staffordshire Moorlands to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. Thank you to everyone involved, especially the children who helped make the ceremonies really special.

Schools and community groups who are interested in trees to plant can apply to the Woodland Trust free trees scheme www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees. The next delivery date for trees from the free trees for communities and schools scheme will be in March 2019.