National Trust announces plans for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee tree planting

Press release
Dyrham Park tree avenue
Published : 17 Feb 2022

The National Trust is today revealing its plans to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a diverse range of tree planting projects as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC).

Seventy projects have been announced across England, Wales and Northern Ireland ranging in size from small-scale individual tree plantings where there is some significance to the property or landscape, to those where the Trust will be recreating notable, historic, lost avenues of trees.

Avenue projects include the recreation of a significant 80 tree avenue originally planted in 1766 at Dyrham Park on the outskirts of Bath.  Today only one lone tree remains due to the other trees succumbing to diseases like Dutch elm, ash dieback and also the great storm of 1987.  

A 24-tree sweet chestnut avenue will be planted at Abinger Roughs in Surrey, where the last of the original trees planted in the 1780s were also lost in the great storm; and 15 more poplars to help recreate Harold and Vita Sackville-West’s 1932 original vision for a tree avenue will be planted on the front field at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent.  

Smaller projects include the planting of two Cornish elms close to the Queen Victoria Jubilee oak tree planted in 1897 at Trengwainton in Cornwall.  Two trees – an oak and a field maple tree, will be planted at Chartwell in Kent to sit alongside an oak tree planted for The Queen’s Silver Jubilee.  And, a single walnut tree will be planted on Mottistone village green in the Isle of Wight to recreate and complete a six-strong walnut tree circle, where one tree had succumbed to age and disease.

Blossom trees will also be planted at Shugborough in Staffordshire, a new orchard will be planted this spring in the Surrey Hills, and a pear tree archway will be recreated at Rudyard Kipling’s former home, Bateman’s in Sussex.

Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust said: “The Platinum Jubilee is such a special moment for the UK, so I am delighted that the Trust is able to take part in the celebrations. By taking part in The Queen’s Green Canopy we’re able to mark this historic achievement whilst also creating a legacy for the future – a fitting tribute to Her Majesty the Queen’s 70 years of service to the country.”

John Deakin, Head of Trees and Woodland at the National Trust said: “There is something really special about marking national occasions like this year’s Jubilee through tree planting – knowing that the trees should grow and last for generations to come as a marker of a significant moment in history. 

“Our support of The Queen’s Green Canopy has catalysed an ambitious programme to restore avenues, conserve ancient trees and protect some our ancient woodlands.” 

Sir Nicholas Bacon, Chairman of The Queen’s Green Canopy, said: “We are delighted the National Trust is marking this special occasion with such a wonderful range of unique and inspiring Jubilee tree planting projects. 

“These trees will create a special legacy for the Trust as a way of honouring Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the country, while also helping to showcase the range of beautiful places on our doorstep for people to explore. 

“We are grateful to the National Trust for supporting this wonderful initiative in The Queen’s name, and we hope many people will be inspired to get involved.  
The majority of the projects will be planted later this year.  For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/queens-green-canopy

Ends

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Tree planting projects – more details
South West
Dyrham Park
The team at Dyrham Park have big plans for tree planting to mark The Queen’s Jubilee.
They are aiming to recreate an 80 tree avenue – stretching 480 metres in length - in the parkland on the site of an historic avenue first identified in the 1766 estate map.  Unfortunately only one tree remains of the original avenue, with the other trees lost due to Dutch Elm disease and Ash dieback, and the storm of 1987.

The site of the tree avenue has been determined through historic maps and a LiDAR survey from 2019 which confirmed the location of a tree avenue in the northern pastures. A parkland management plan has been created from this data to protect the historic vistas and archaeology.

The tree avenue will be planted this autumn in the northern pastures at Dyrham Park with deer guards to protect the trees. The line will stretch from Old Lodge, located in the middle of the park, to the Cotswold Way which follows the northern boundary of the parkland.

Piers Horry, Gardens and Parkland Manager at Dyrham Park says: “We are confident that the veteran Ash tree in the deer sanctuary is the single remaining tree of the original avenue so we are using that as our guide.  

“Due to various tree diseases, we are currently considering whether to plant Lime trees to match the other avenues on the estate, but we may change that to Sweet Chestnut to provide more fodder for the future deer herd.

“It will take at least four decades before the avenue will match the other avenues and start to look really impressive, but this is a fantastic legacy for future generations to enjoy.” 

Trengwainton, Cornwall
In November the team at Trengwainton will be planting two elm trees echoing a previous planting in The Royal Meadow to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. 
The Royal Meadow was a part of Trengwainton’s  farm fields until the late Victorian period, entirely separate from the garden.  In 1897 a Quercus pedunculata (Oak) was planted to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, followed by a Tilia platyphyllos (Lime) in 1901 for Edward VIIs coronation.  

Catrina Saunders, Garden Manager says: “We want to carry on this tradition from the late 1800s.  We’ve chosen to plant elm trees because they used to be such an iconic tree, and are now so little seen.  Cornish Elm is  really susceptible to Dutch Elm disease, so although its reasonably common in hedgerows, propagating itself from suckers, it isn’t seen as a mature, large tree.  We want to get a resistant cultivar that will make a substantial specimen for generations to come.”

Greenway, Devon
As part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, 15 apple trees have been planted at Agatha Christie’s Greenway in south Devon.

The garden team have been working to restore the orchard and meadow over the last three years and the new trees will add to the three apple trees already there.

The team eventually aims to create a more open space with the fruit trees and meadow area with views down to the river.

Ashley Brent, Head Gardener at Greenway said: “I’m incredibly excited to develop the orchard and meadow in Top Garden as part of The Queen’s Garden Canopy. We’ve been working hard to improve the meadow for three years now and the planting of the apple trees is the next step to restoring this part of Greenway. To do so as our contribution to developing The Queen’s Garden Canopy adds an extra layer to the project. 

“Over the coming years, we’ll continue to nurture the new trees, improve the meadow and remove the old exotic planting that has served the area well. Opening up views of the river Dart will help to make Top Garden a wonderful place to sit and relax whilst helping our native flora thrive.”

East
Anglesey Abbey
At Anglesey Abbey 500 new trees, plus a few special trees in the garden, will be planted as part of the The Queen’s Green Canopy.  

This includes a large Chestnut tree, which replaced one that had to be removed and an Acer x freemanii 'Autumn Fantasy', which has been planted opposite an existing Acer x freemanii 'Autumn Blaze' to create some spectacular autumn colour in the years ahead.

Tom Fradd, Garden & Outdoors Manager, said; “We have taken the opportunity to plant 500 new trees in our woodlands. Planted to protect the gardens from the strong fenland winds and where we’ve lost some mature willow trees in recent years, we have chosen a mixture of Hornbeam, Hazel, Field Maple, Spindle, Yew and Holly that should be well suited to the soil here. 

“The planting has been supported by our team of volunteers from Cambridge Regional College called The Green Team. The Green Team is a course funded by the Adult Education Budget that enables adults with special educational needs to continue their learning. 

“The partnership with Anglesey Abbey provides the opportunity for individuals to gain real-life work experience, alongside their college-based learning, to prepare them for employment. The team attend Anglesey Abbey twice a week to undertake general horticultural duties alongside the National Trust.”

Wimpole Estate
The opportunity to be part of The Queens Green Canopy has been a blessing for the garden team at Wimpole Estate. 

Matt Mace, Head Gardener said; “There is a beautiful, secluded dell amongst the 25-acre pleasure grounds that holds a particularly special spot in the hearts of our team and regular visitors. 

“Taking in views across dappled-shade-smattered winter aconite and snowdrop, wild garlic and bluebell, Baker's Wood has been an ongoing garden development for several years and the addition of five Japanese Acers that The Queen’s Green Canopy have sponsored to fringe our spectacular mature Osakazuki will complete an important corner of the garden.”

An additional tree has been planted on the site of the last oil-fired boiler to be removed from Wimpole Estate. The planting references choices made by the last owner of the estate, Mrs Elsie Bambridge, and will greatly elevate the respective surroundings.

Peckover House & Garden
The team at Peckover House will be planting seven new fruit trees along the garden wall this spring for The Queen’s Green Canopy.

The current fruit tree collection showcases the interest the Peckover family had in the growing of fruit and their curiosity resulted in them growing a number of different varieties. 

As Quakers they sent gifts of home-grown fruit along with their letters to family, friends and business acquaintances. Lord Peckover even had an early dessert apple named after him, which was first recorded at Peckover in 1926. Red flushed, large with a delicate skin, this apple resembles a large peach and is best eaten in the summer.

Jenny Windsor, Senior Gardener at Peckover said: “This area of the garden has always been productive and by planting further fruit trees, we are extending the fruit growing tradition that the Peckover family loved so much. We’ve chosen to plant cherries, cherry plums, gages and plums, and in time we hope to be able to donate the excess fruit to the local food bank.” 

North
Cragside, Northumberland
At Cragside, the mountain landscape imagined and engineered by inventor and arms manufacturer Lord Armstrong and his wife Lady Margaret, two oak trees to commemorate The Jubilee will be planted in the gardens.  

Over 1,000 trees on the estate were lost as a result of Storm Arwen in November.
Cragside is no stranger to Royal celebrations.  Guests often visited the pioneering home from all over the world, drawn by tales of the 'modern magician' palace filled with gadgets, intriguing inventions and electric light. 

In 1884 the Prince and Princess of Wales - the future monarchs, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra - stayed at the House during their tour of the North of England. They disregarded the region's castles and royal homes, to explore this home of a Geordie genius. They stayed in the Owl Suite and partied by moonlight in the Drawing Room. To celebrate their visit Armstrong decorated the estate with glass and paper lanterns.

Northern Ireland
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
The North Coast gardening team is delighted to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by planting a variety of trees in the bog garden and arboretum at Bishop’s Gate at Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne.

Bishop’s Gate has a much celebrated Edwardian Garden created by Lady Ellen Bruce in the early 20th century. This vibrant garden features exotic trees from around the globe, such as the Dawn Redwood which originated from China. The new trees will add more colour and interest to the existing garden which is in continuous process of restoration.

Head Gardener, Don Kerr explained: “Our dedicated volunteer team have been instrumental in the process of restoring this garden. They have been committed to building on the diversity and range of species within this environment. 

“Having recently lost a number of the estate ash trees due to ash dieback, the team are looking forward to adding to the blossom trees by planting Cherry Prunus, which our visitors adore.  It will be great to plant and watch these vibrant new trees flourish and thrive on the beautiful North Coast.”

London & South East
Chartwell
This year the team at Chartwell, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill, will be planting two trees, an oak and a field maple. The two trees will mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and one of which will sit alongside the Oak planted to commemorate Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mothers 90th Birthday.

Christopher Lane, Garden & Outdoors Manager at the Chartwell Portfolio, says: “The planting of these trees marks not only a special event for our Monarch, but also for us as a nation.  
“We have selected both an Oak and a Field Maple to mark this unique occasion.  The Oak will stand on the old school playing field at Toys Hill (which has strong, historic links to the community and also an area chosen by one of our founders, Octavia Hill, to preserve) where its future will be protected now that this area is being managed as a meadow.  

“The second tree, a Field maple, has been chosen as a succession tree for an existing, declining Field Maple on the Chartwell estate.  

“The existing Field Maple is the oldest tree on the estate and is planted on a medieval lynchet.  We will be propagating shoots from the existing tree with the help of the PPC so we can plant a direct descendant in the future.  However, to mark this special and unique Jubilee, the Field Maple seems a fitting choice.”

Hinton Ampner, Hampshire 
Over 300 trees will be planted in Hinton’s parkland this autumn and winter. Species are yet to be decided upon, but they will reflect former owner Ralph Dutton’s personal taste, which can be seen in the small copses he planted in the 20th-century. The new trees will include varieties more resistant to climate extremes like drought and high winds (such as lime), and with the aim to benefit wildlife by planting trees such as hawthorn which will benefit pollinators in the spring when the trees are in blossom, and birds in the autumn, once the berries have appeared.

The planting continues the tradition begun by Ralph Dutton to use trees for their visual effect as a painter might, drawing on the late 18th Century ‘picturesque’ style. In the parkland, they softened boundaries, hid the odd unsightly feature, and gave structure to the magnificent views south from the mansion. Some were planted to commemorate special occasions, such as family births and the silver jubilee of George V. Importantly, the copses were always planted on slopes rather than the crests of ridges, emphasising the park’s gradients and leaving the long views uninterrupted. 

Head gardener John Wood said: “The parkland at Hinton Ampner is a masterpiece of design, and possibly a unique example of a private park that was developed in the 20th-century using ‘picturesque’ principles, which in this case refers to the aesthetic qualities of the landscape. Planting these new trees will ensure future generations can continue to enjoy this beautiful pastoral setting.”

Mottistone village green, Isle of Wight

Mottistone village green is part of the National Trust’s 650 acre Mottistone estate and looked after by Mottistone Gardens’ gardener Ed Hinch. 

Until around 2005 six walnut trees stood in a circle on the green, but then one was removed because it was old and dying. This autumn, Ed will close the circle once more with a sixth walnut tree, thanks to the Queen’s Canopy funding. Ed intends to have a small ceremony on the green in late autumn, for villagers and Mottistone Garden volunteers. A member of the Seely family, who left Mottistone Manor and its estate to the National Trust in the 1960s, will be invited to plant the sixth tree. 
 
Ed Hinch says: “We’re not sure if walnuts have been on Mottistone village green for a long time, but of the current ones, three were planted in 1992. The tree ring encircles an old cottage well, and in the autumn the walnuts are feasted on by the locals – humans and red squirrels. It’s a great place for a bit of red squirrel-spotting. 

“Today, the walnut circle’s an integral part of our village green landscape, which plays an important role in everyday life here in Mottistone. It’s a place where locals meet up, and visitors enjoy picnics, in surroundings that have changed very little over the centuries.”
 
Historic reference: walnuts were often planted on village greens. They were a valuable community resource; the nuts symbolised riches and were used as charms to increase wealth. But because their roots secrete a chemical called juglone which can stunt crops they were grown in uncultivated ground along road verges and on village greens – hence the phrase ‘Wayside walnuts’. 

Abinger Roughs, Surrey
As part of The Queen’s Green Canopy celebrations, we plan to reinstate an avenue of sweet chestnut trees on the south-east edge of Abinger Roughs in Surrey, next to the East Lawn. 
The magnificent eighteenth-century avenue of trees had fallen into decline and very few trees remained after the great Storm of 1987. 

Henry Barnard, National Trust Lead Ranger said: “We plan to reinstate the avenue by planting around 24 trees and surround them with post and rail tree guards. The trees will be well-spaced to encourage an open, grassy feel, and once again local people will be welcome to harvest the sweet chestnuts. It’s going to be amazing to see the avenue reinstated and have these special trees growing again. I hope that future generations will enjoy roasting chestnuts from the avenue as they used to in the past.”

It is believed that the original trees date to c1780, when Abinger Hall gardens were first created. Within living memory there was still an avenue - the villagers in Abinger Hammer still remember a time when there was a complete row of trees along the west side of the path. Many were magnificently gnarled and some had lost a number of limbs. The whole path would be covered with chestnuts in the autumn.

Westhumble Orchard, Surrey
The National Trust Surrey Hills team, together with tenant farmer Steve Conisbee, will be planting a new orchard at Westhumble, close to Box Hill in Surrey. 

Part of The Queen’s Green Canopy celebrations for The Platinum Jubilee, the project has been made possible by a kind legacy from a supporter. 

National Trust Lead Ranger Mark Dawson said: “This spring and autumn, a traditional orchard will be planted with a mixed variety of approximately 250 trees including apples, pears, quince, plums, cherry, figs, cobnuts, filbert nuts, and medlars. Beehives with honey bee colonies will also be installed in the orchard, to act as pollinators and gradually improve the biodiversity of the area”. 

The land is part of Chapel Farm in Westhumble, Dorking, which has been owned by the National Trust since 1998 and farmed by the Conisbee family, a well-known farming family in the area, for over 10 years. The National Trust has been working with farmer Steve Conisbee to bring nature back to parts of his farm. Started two years ago, the results of the collaboration are already beginning to show, with the insect population booming and improved habitats for bats and other wildlife.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
At Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent, the gardeners are planning on reinstating the poplar avenue on the front field. These were originally planted by Harold and Vita Sackville-West in 1932, Harold writing in his diary said; ‘‘…The new poplars opposite the entrance have been planted and staked’, Niggs and I spend the time making cow catch shields around them’.
None of the original poplars remain from Vita and Harold’s planting, although eight poplars are still standing today from a later replanting.

The  team is planning on planting another 15 poplars this spring to complete the avenue in Vita and Harold’s vision. Some of these trees will be cuttings from the stump of one of the original trees planted in the 1930’s.

Troy Scott Smith, Head Gardener at Sissinghurst Castle Garden says: “This avenue is an important part of the Plain or the Front Field, as Vita and Harold referred to the area immediately outside the garden entrance.  

“We know they both loved poplars thanks to the drawings and entries from their diaries. 
“They particularly loved how it reminded them of Mediterranean landscapes.  We aim to plant the new trees this spring.  Recreating the avenue is part of our work to capture and strengthen the authenticity of Vita and Harold’s garden and in time, just as Vita and Harold had, we hope to bring cows back to the front field to graze under the canopy of the poplars.”

Bateman’s, East Sussex

Later this year, in November, the team at Bateman’s are aiming to recreate the pear alley, a metal hooped structure, 20 metres in length spanning a paved pathway originally created by Rudyard Kipling in 1905. 
 
The tunnel effect provided Kipling with a long vista from the orchard towards the house at Bateman's. Sitting on an old oak bench seat at the far end of the alley, he could rest and admire the home he'd bought and ponder both the responsibilities and inanity of becoming 'one of the landed gentry'. 
 
As the name suggests, the structure was planted with espaliered pear trees, trained to grow over the metalwork, adorned with white pear blossom in April and golden dropping pears in autumn. In more recent years, narrow borders were created, with low perennial groundcover plants growing underneath the pear trees. 
 
In 2000 the original pear trees were removed because they had become entangled with the framework. The ironwork was repaired, and replacement trees planted. 
 
This autumn/winter, the team now aim to plant several new pear trees grown on a special rootstock, which should mean the trees grow strong and tall enough to once again cover the metal structure.
 
Len Bernamont, Gardens and Outdoors Manager at Bateman’s says: “The alley is one of the surviving original features from Kipling’s garden, therefore it’s fantastic we now have the opportunity to restore this feature to something much closer to the way it looked in Kipling’s time.

“It’s also a wonderful way to introduce more blossom and attract more pollinators to the garden.”

Wales

Tredegar House, south Wales
The oak avenue at Tredegar House, is the last surviving avenue on property.  Back in the 18th Century there were originally a number of different avenues that radiated from the Mansion House across the estate in the directions of the compass, but this is the last one remaining today.  

This last avenue stretches from Tredegar House to Basseleg church which is the last resting place for a number of the Morgan’s of Tredegar. 

Dating from approximately c1700, the current avenue consists of 46 trees at Tredegar with  approximately a further 25 trees on neighbouring land.  The team is aiming to plant another 4 to 6 trees replacing those which have succumbed to age, disease and weather conditions.
Some of the trees are classed as ancient and notable due to their age estimated to be in excess of 300 years old.  During its lifetime a wide variety of species of oak have been planted to include; English Oak, Turkey Oak, Red Oak.

Steve Morgan, Gardener and Outdoor Manager at Tredegar House says: “We aim to plant English oak trees this autumn.  Based on previous experience ,this will give the trees the best opportunity to set their feet and settle in ready for the following season which will give them the best chance of flourishing. 

“I’ve looked after the Oak avenue for the past 25 years, I’ve seen trees falter and flourish, but to be able to replant new trees to help conserve/preserve this wonderful avenue into the future is a legacy to cherish.”

Midlands
Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire
Ninety-six trees will be planted next month to create a new garden on the Shugborough Estate after the Rhododendron had to be removed last year due to an outbreak of Phytophthora.
The team will be planting the trees along the three acre Lady Walk as part of The Queens Green Canopy celebrations to mark her Platinum Jubilee.

Both The Queen and Prince Philip each planted a tree in Shugborough’s parkland on 25th May 1973.

Caroline Beacall, Head Gardener says: “After the sadness of losing so many plants last year we are now really excited about being able to mark our royal connections through Lord Patrick Lichfield who was an avid plantsman and collector of trees.  Patrick curated his own private collection of oaks gathered from around the world and which can be seen in the Arboretum at Shugborough.  As well as our links to the Queen and the tree she planted nearly 50 years ago, we have many trees planted by the royal family.

“We’ll actually be aiming to plant the garden so that it has year round interest with some blossom trees for the spring and some with amazing autumn colour and berries for the autumn/winter period.”

Calke, Derbyshire
At Calke Abbey, the National Trust will be planting an ancient, long lived species of deciduous tree to celebrate The  Platinum Jubilee, and to form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy celebrations.  

Heloise Brooke, Head Gardener at Calke Abbey explains: “Ginkgo biloba, or the Maidenhair tree, is the only species left of a group that evolved approximately 170 million years ago, during the Jurassic period.  It is classed as a ‘living fossil’, and found in the wild only in China.  
“It is very healthy, being resistant to pests, disease and pollution, and there are specimens that are over 2000 years old. They are often planted by temples in China and Japan, and some Ginkgo’s even survived near the epicentre of the atomic blast at Hiroshima. The Ginkgo’s leaves are a beautiful fan-shape and change colour in Autumn from a lime green to a bright, buttery yellow.  

“There are separate male and female trees, but the male tree is more commonly planted, as the fruit on the female tree has quite an unpleasant odour, though the seeds from the fruit can be roasted and eaten, and have been used in traditional medicine and herbal supplements.”  

The Garden team plan to plant a tree overlooking the mansion in the grazed meadows this Autumn, as this is the time it will have the best chance of establishing well.  It will fit well with the mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees that were planted in this area during the Victorian and Edwardian period, whilst standing out as a very special tree in its own right.