County council drawing up local plans for ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ project in Hertfordshire

At the heart of that strategy is the ambition for there to be 1.2million new trees in the county by 2030

Monday, 12th July 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 9:46 am

Council officials are drawing up plans to deliver the ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ in Hertfordshire, to mark the monarch’s platinum jubilee.

Residents, schools, businesses, farmers, community groups and others will be encouraged to take part in the national tree-planting campaign.

And the county council is already looking at proposals that include an avenue of trees at Aldenham Country Park, ‘signature’ planting in each of the district and boroughs areas and a jubilee ‘woodland’.

Hertfordshire County Council is joining thousands of people from across the UK in celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The council is also looking at additional planting along highways, around council offices, ‘touchdowns’ day centres and care homes.

And they also expect to take on a co-ordination role to support some others – like schools – to plant, offering advice on location and species.

Ongoing work to prepare for the project was outlined to a meeting of the county council’s environment cabinet panel on Friday, July 7.

At the meeting, Cllr Caroline Clapper – who is deputy executive member for the environment and whose division includes Aldenham Country Park – said she was ‘really really excited about this initiative’.

She said she was really happy to hear about the plans for Aldenham Country Park.

And she asked whether this was an opportunity to encourage individual residents to plant trees too.

“The more trees you plant the more of an opportunity we have to really take advantage of this moment,” she said.

Programme manager Zac Mather told councillors that engaging with residents of Hertfordshire was part of the plan.

And he also addressed councillor concerns relating to shortages of trees, in the face of increased planting nationwide.

He said the county council had already been reassured that there was still availability – and that they were looking to place advance orders to secure the number required.

Green Party Cllr Ben Crystal had asked if the county council had considered its own tree nursery programme – or whether there was a case to start a community tree planting programme from seeds.

“If just one per cent of resident planted three acorns every year for three years, we would have 100,000 plus trees that were from local stock,” he said.

And he suggested that that could be a very strong way of engaging community.

Head of sustainability Julie Greaves pointed to ‘contract to grow’ options for future planting strategies, where the council would buy the seeds to be grown for two years before bring planted.

And she said that there had been previous campaigns to encourage people to plant acorns, but that they grew ‘quite large’ and not necessarily in the right place.

At the meeting it was also reported that all schools will have the chance to request a tree from the Woodland Trust, on a first-come-first-served basis.

And those schools who are unsuccessful will be able to claim a tree from the county council.

Ms Greaves also suggested that the jubilee woodland was likely to be a 0.3 hectare extension of the existing ‘Winnie the Pooh’ woodland, at Aldenham Country Park.

The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign was launched in May this year. And planting will take place between October 2021 and the end of the jubilee year, 2022.

In addition to their role in promoting the Queen’s Green Canopy, the county council is also developing its own Tree and Woodland Strategy.

At the heart of that strategy is the ambition for there to be 1.2million new trees in the county by 2030.