Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, will plant five trees on 18 January at Castle Park in Penrith, as part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy.
The saplings, two silver birch, two rowan and a hazel, are UK sourced and grown, and were donated by a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury's and ITV. If well maintained they can be expected to grow to 12-25 meters in height.
The QCC was launched at the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting by Frank Field MP and aims to save the association’s members’ forests. By creating a network of forest conservation projects, the QCC will demonstrate the Commonwealth’s unity, raise awareness of the value of the planet’s forests and create a lasting environmental tribute to the Queen’s leadership. To date, over 40 Commonwealth countries have agreed to participate. The parliamentary initiative was also started by Mr Field, who wrote to all MPs to request their participation and Rory was delighted to accept. Some 500 other MPs have also received saplings, linking Penrith and The Border to constituencies across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust, Beccy Speight, 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 Penrith and The Border will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”
Commenting on the initiative Rory said, “I am very much looking forward to linking Penrith and The Border with constituencies up and down the country through this wonderful initiative. These trees, which will be a permanent part of Castle Park, will be a striking monument to the Queen's dedication and an important reminder of the need to protect the Commonwealth's forests. I am very much looking forward to playing a part in this with the planting on the 18th".