The nationwide initiative will see individuals, businesses, councils and community groups invited to “plant a tree for the jubilee”, as the Monarch prepares to celebrate the platinum anniversary of her coronation next year.
Preston city councillor Daniel Duckworth proposed at a meeting of the authority that a scheme should be designed to ensure that shrubbery was planted in every ward of the city in recognition of the royal occasion – and appealed for schools and volunteers to help make the vision a reality.
However, the Sharoe Green ward member’s suggestion was amended by the ruling Labour group, which instead said that any trees planted by royal command should form part of a wider strategy currently being drawn up to boost the tree stock in all parts of Preston.
Accepting the change, Cllr Duckworth said that tree-planting was also a fitting way of commemorating 20 years since Preston became a city – a status that was conferred on it to mark the Queen’s golden jubilee back in 2002.
“This is important for Preston…and it improves the environment,” the Conservative politician said.
“I hope all councillors will have an input [into] the tree strategy, which…will lift the city after the lockdown. I think it’s important that [the Queen’s jubilee] is marked in an appropriate way,” Cllr Duckworth added.
Cabinet member for the environment, Robert Boswell, said he had wanted to avoid any “contradiction” between how the Queen’s green canopy takes root in Preston and the city’s own budding plans.
“We will be consulting on [the tree strategy] – we don’t want to pre-empt it. There is a lot going on in that [document] and it’s vitally important for Preston,” Cllr Boswell said.
Work on green canopies across the country will be encouraged during the tree-planting season between October and next March.
The project – nicknamed a “tree-bilee at its launch earlier this year – aims to create a network of individual or specimen trees, tree avenues, copses and woodlands. The Queen herself has planted more than 1,500 trees during her 70-year reign.
Liberal Democrat Cadley ward councillor Debbie Shannon said that the invitation from the Queen to plant trees sustainably “should be welcomed widely across the UK and particularly in Preston”.
She also stressed the importance of collaboration over the initiative and said that it should be “a high priority, wherever the funding comes from”.
Schools and community groups are able to apply for a share of three million free saplings from the Woodland Trust as part of the project.
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