Rutland’s Platinum Jubilee Plans
17th March 2022
Rutland’s Lord-Lieutenant, Sarah Furness, speaks to Amander Meade about exciting plans to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and how a scheme launched by Her Majesty could change the face of Rutland
‘Of all the many events and celebratory campaigns planned to take place during the coming months, the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is the most expansive and ambitious,’ explains Sarah. ‘It’s a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee this year, which invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”, and Rutlanders are already rising to the occasion. As part of the programme, everyone – whether as an individual or as part of a group – will be encouraged to take part by planting trees. The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign will provide opportunity for people to mark the Jubilee in a positive way, leave a legacy of something beautiful for future generations and help the planet.’
Planting so far
Although the Queen’s Jubilee year is 2022, the planting season for trees is between October and March, so a significant number of trees have already been planted in Rutland for it – in autumn 2021 and spring of this year – with further planting encouraged again from this coming October through to the end of the Jubilee year. Notes Sarah: ‘We are aiming to plant 40,000 trees in Rutland, which is ambitious but achievable. Rutland is in fact well below the national average for numbers of trees, so this will be a great challenge for the county to level up its tree population.
‘We used National Tree Planting week last year to get planting underway and we are able to include those trees in our QGC count. For example, at The Rutland Showground, The Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Orchard contains 30 historic regional rare varieties of apple, and Rutland Rotary have recently planted a wood on the banks of Rutland Water in remembrance of those who died in the county from Covid. The Weatherby family invited families belonging to the Rotaract Family Support Group to plant two beautiful hornbeams in a Rutland field, and many churches, schools and individuals have told me that they have or plan to plant a tree in their grounds or gardens. Ninety trees have been planted at Ketton; 105 have been planted between Cottesmore and Greetham; an avenue of trees has been planted on farmland in Ashwell with more trees planned for Barleythorpe. In Whissendine over 900 trees have been planted on farmland, and in Hambleton about 50 trees have been planted. However, we need many more if we are to increase our tree coverage and carbon sequestration significantly. I am keen to encourage more tree planting and to hear about all plans. The QGC campaign has been chosen by Her Majesty to provide a lasting beneficial legacy for all, and I will be marking all our planting progress on the national QGC map.’
Sarah is delighted that the Jubilee celebrations will give us all the perfect platform to come together as a community, to plan some wonderful events and to really enjoy each other’s company properly once again. ‘In addition to the QGC, there are already great plans in progress including special musical celebrations, beacons across the county, festivals, fireworks, the “Big Lunch”, the Rutland Show and all manner of street parties and gatherings, with many more fabulous events in the pipeline – especially over the extended Bank Holiday weekend during 2, 3, 4 and 5 June. I’m hoping that every street, village, school, church, pub, restaurant, organisation and business in Rutland will not only support the tree-planting campaign but bring out the flags and bunting and find a way to celebrate our monarch, our country and our own very special county in great style. I look forward to attending as many special events as I can this year and I can’t wait to see how brilliantly the people of Rutland will mark this momentous milestone.’