Prince Charles has called for the UK’s “dwindling” historic natural habitat to be renewed as he revealed a new project to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
As he unveiled a collection of ancient woodlands and trees dedicated to the monarch, Charles said these “precious” assets, which support biodiversity and provided materials for craft workers, needed to be preserved for future generations.
Some of the 70 ancient woodlands and 70 trees dedicated to the Queen include the Boscobel Oak in Shropshire, a descendant of the tree Charles II used to hide from parliamentary forces in 1651, as well as Sussex’s Five Hundred Acre Wood, the inspiration for 100 Acre Wood in the Children’s classic Winnie the Pooh.
The Prince of Wales’ comments were made in a video message recorded under one of the 70 ancient trees, the old Sycamore at Dumfries House in Scotland, home to the heir to the throne’s Prince’s Foundation.
He said: “I believe it is absolutely vital that we do our utmost to nurture our historic inheritance through careful management and, in the case of the woodlands, that we can expand them and link them to other natural features like our hedgerows.
“And if we are to create the ‘ancient’ trees of the future, we must plant more trees in hedgerows, fields, churchyards and avenues.
“Furthermore, I would suggest that some of those planted should be propagated from today’s ancient trees, thus helping to preserve their unique provenance and heritage.”
The prince added: “These working woodlands and magnificent trees span our nation’s amazing landscape and exist for everyone to enjoy.
“At the same time, they support biodiversity, and help to provide us with the most versatile and beautiful of materials for our craftsmen and women.”
“But we need to replenish these precious, dwindling assets for future generations and for our depleted landscapes and townscapes.”
Charles is patron of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), a tree-planting initiative encouraging people to plant a tree to create a legacy in honour of the Queen as she marks 70 years on the throne this year with the Platinum Jubilee.
Ancient trees already dedicated to the monarch include the Yew that frames the North Door of St Edward’s Church, Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire, which may have inspired JRR Tolkien’s description of the Doors of Durin in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Fellowship Of The Ring.
Another entrant is Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree in the orchard at Woolsthorpe Manor near Grantham, Lincolnshire, which caused the mathematician to question why apples always fell straight down to the ground.
In Wales, the Wyesham Oak can be seen on a road bearing its name, Oak Crescent, where residents past and present take pride in their connection to the 1,000-year-old tree which has stood the test of time and development.
And in Northern Ireland, QGC ambassador Lady Mary Peters, former Olympic athlete and advocate for older people to exercise more, has used Hazelbank Park on the shores of Belfast Lough as a location to gather walkers to promote how outdoor spaces are vital for health and wellbeing.