Wirral receives special tree for Queen’s Green Canopy initiative

Wirral Council has been chosen as one of only 350 recipients of a gift from the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The council will receive a Rowan tree, to be planted in Birkenhead Park, in recognition of its commitment to taking part in the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, one of the schemes introduced to recognise Her Majesty the Queen’s jubilee in 2022.

The tree had originally been one of the 350 British native trees that featured in another project, the ‘Tree of Trees’, which was a sculpture designed by Thomas Heatherwick that had been installed outside Buckingham Palace as part of the jubilee weekend celebrations in June.

After that weekend, the trees were gifted to selected community groups and organisations, including Wirral Council, in recognition of their work to inspire the next generation of tree planters. The trees were kept in storage over the summer before being planted at the start of the planting season in October.

His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Merseyside, Mr Mark Blundell – the King’s representative in the region – and Merseyside Queen’s Green Canopy Lead His Honour Deputy Lieutenant, Mr John Roberts joined Wirral’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Jerry Williams and Eco-School pupils from Priory Primary School at the ceremony to officially plant the tree in Birkenhead Park on Friday 21 October. The tree was set in an aluminium pot embossed with Queen Elizabeth II’s cypher.

Mr Blundell said, “Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants across the country were asked to nominate organisations and groups within their counties which they believed made a positive and measurable impact on their communities with the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

“The work done by Wirral Council, in alliance with its teams of volunteers, was one of those I wanted to see rewarded. The tree and pot are symbols of gratitude for their tireless efforts – I hope that the gift will bring pride to your organisation and community.”

Cllr Jerry Williams, Deputy Mayor of Wirral, said, “This occasion brings with it a certain poignancy due to Her Majesty’s recent passing, but it is a fantastic honour for Wirral and reflects positively on the hard work done by council officers, supported by an army of willing local volunteers, to embrace the spirit of the Queen’s Green Canopy campaign.”

A key part of the Queen’s Green Canopy was supporting urban greening projects in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation and low canopy cover. People were invited to ‘plant a tree for the jubilee’ and create a long-lasting legacy of The Queen’s leadership of the nation.

The spectacular 21-metre ‘Tree of Trees’ sculpture was designed as a reflection of those tree planting efforts, which resulted in more than a million trees being planted from October 2021 to March 2022.

The sculpture aimed to put the importance of trees and nature at the heart of the jubilee celebrations and to recognise that the Queen herself planted more than 1,500 trees all over the world throughout the course of her 70-year reign.

Birkenhead Park was seen as a fitting home for the new tree as it already has as one of its attractions an avenue of Lime trees that were originally planted at the time of Her Majesty the Queen’s coronation in 1952.

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