This month Rebecca Harris MP 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 –have been planted in Thundersley Little Common, with the help of Castle Point Council Rangers James, Tony and John.
Local Councillor Colin MacLean commented: “I am delighted that Rebecca has chosen to enhance the already stunning woodland of Thundersley with these commemorative trees. I can highly recommend a visit to the historic Common which is especially beautiful at this time of year.”
The trees were donated to Rebecca Harris 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.
Rebecca Harris commented: “I’m grateful to receive these free trees from the Woodland Trust and take part in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. Although these saplings are very small now, I hope they will flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative and be enjoyed by Castle Point residents for many years to come.”
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.”