From Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides to Whitehead in County Antrim, the UK's landscape and local environments are about to be transformed by the creation of 60 special woodlands. The new woods are a living, lasting tribute to The Queen’s historic Diamond Jubilee.
Each wood is at least 60 acres in size to symbolise 60 years of The Queen’s reign. And, long after the champagne bubbles have faded from the thousands of street parties taking place this Jubilee weekend, the Diamond Woods will continue quietly growing.
There will be a Diamond Wood in every region of the UK, giving everyone the chance to create an environmental legacy in their area. The Trust has worked with a diverse range of landowners from across the UK to create the new woods; including private landowners, universities, local authorities, and even the Queen herself is creating a Diamond Wood at Balmoral.
Northern Ireland’s gem, on the edge of the seaside village of Whitehead, is the result of a joint partnership between the Woodland Trust and owner Carrickfergus Borough Council.
Patrick Cregg, the Trust’s director in Northern Ireland, says: “We’re delighted that Northern Ireland is on the map. We’re extremely grateful to Carrickfergus Borough Council for making the land available, and we’re heartened by the enthusiasm of members of the public: over 1,000 adults and children rolled up their sleeves to help plant thousands of trees earlier this year. The wood will be a wonderful natural resource for local people and visitors, and a much-needed habitat for our precious wildlife.”
The Whitehead gem is already sparkling. Over 60,000 native trees, mostly oak and ash, now grace this quiet corner of nature. Other features include a stunning metal tree sculpture; while one of summer’s highlights will be a glorious wildflower meadow, boasting vibrant displays of cornflower marigold, poppy, ox-eye daisy and yellow rattle.
Woodland Trust Jubilee Woods Director Georgina McLeod said: “We’re absolutely delighted that so many different organisations and landowners have joined with the Trust to create these 60 very special Diamond Woods. They will help make a massive difference to the environment and pay a special tribute to Her Majesty the Queen. By the end of the project millions of people will have planted trees, a testament to the nation’s love for trees and our second longest reigning monarch.”
On top of the prestigious 60, the Trust has also confirmed that over 250 smaller Jubilee Woods will be planted across the UK helping to achieve the Trust’s ambitious target of planting 6 million trees this year, at least 1 million of them planted by children.
Schools and communities can still apply for free tree packs to plant in autumn and winter, while individuals can take part by planting a tree in their garden or by donating money to plant the trees. Everyone taking part will be listed in the new Royal Record of tree planting which will be presented to Her Majesty at the end of the project.
The announcement of the 60 Diamond Woods (1st June) takes place on the same day that HRH The Princess Royal will officially open the Trust’s flagship Diamond Jubilee Wood in Leicestershire. The new wood’s name will be revealed along with the designs for the woodland.
To find out how to make your mark on history or to apply for your free tree packs, visit www.JubileeWoods.org.uk
Sainsbury’s is the lead corporate sponsor for the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project. Over the next 15 months, Sainsbury’s will be supporting the project and raising £1.5 million for tree planting by increasing the number of donations made from products in store. IKEA has also generously supported the Jubilee Woods project.