Written by Tricia Harris – Assistant Garden Manager and Marketing and Communications Manager, Helmsley Walled Garden.
PLANT a Tree for the Queen’s Jubilee is a message I’ve seen regularly this year. The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique tree-planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the United Kingdom to plant trees to improve the environment and as a lasting memorial to the Platinum Jubilee.
QGC is working with the Woodland Trust to ensure that anyone from individuals to community groups, schools and corporates can plant a tree or trees. The emphasis is on planting sustainably, so wild, native trees are being recommended and free trees can be obtained from the Woodland Trust.
We planted our tree here at Helmsley and we hope to see many trees planted across Britain. Trees are not only important in setting and maintaining ecosystems, but they are also habitat for wildlife, they give us pleasure as a thing of beauty to look at, they provide shade to sit under on hot days and there is now a growing body of evidence to say that walking amongst trees has huge health benefits.
Moreover, planting a tree gives us all a stake in the future. The trees we have planted here over the years will not grow to maturity in my lifetime but they will be here for future generations to enjoy. So every time I find myself lifting turf and digging another hole, I think about all the people who will sit under it as it grows and flourishes.
Here at Helmsley, we have a wealth of fruit trees, including a collection of Yorkshire apple trees; cultivars that have either been discovered or bred in Yorkshire over the last 250 years or have been found to do well in a cooler, wetter northern climate.
So we have the likes of Nancy Jackson, Charles Ross, Howgate Wonder, Yellow Ingestrie and Yorkshire Greening in the garden alongside better-known apples such as Bramley, Discovery and Blenheim’s Orange.
Trees are a brilliant addition to any landscape and with such a range of native species to choose from, The Queen’s Green Canopy is something we can all get behind.