Alok Sharma MP has joined 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 a number of schools within Alok’s constituency. The schools are: The Avenue School, All Saints Junior School, Brookfields School, The Wren School and Ranikhet Academy.
The trees were donated to Alok 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 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.
Alok Sharma said: “I was delighted to take part in this initiative and am very grateful to have received this donation from the Woodland Trust. It was great to plant the small tree saplings with very enthusiastic pupils at local schools in my constituency. The students have promised to look after the saplings and watch them grow into strong trees helping to form a part of Her Majesty The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.”
Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust’s Chief Executive, 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. I hope the residents of Reading West will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s CEO, said: “As the Woodland Trust’s largest corporate partner, we’re committed to raising awareness of the importance of the UK’s woods and trees, and contributing to their conservation. I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by woods, so trees have a particular resonance with me. Sainsbury’s recently planted its three millionth tree with the Trust, and the thought of being able to get so many more in the ground as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy with the support of so many MPs is an exciting prospect.”
Photos: Alok Sharma MP planting a tree with pupils from All Saints Junior School
A card from pupils of The Avenue School to thank Alok Sharma MP for donating a tree
Alok Sharma MP receiving a ‘thank you’ card from pupils of The Avenue School
Alok Sharma MP planting a tree with pupils from Brookfields School
Alok Sharma MP planting a tree with pupils and Headteacher, Mrs Broadhead, of The Wren School