Hertfordshire dignitaries and community leaders came together on Thursday 19 January to plant trees and mark Panshanger Park’s contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.
A tree-planting ceremony, featuring Hertfordshire’s Lord-Lieutenant Robert Voss CBE CStJ as special guest, was organised by park landowner Tarmac. The event was also attended by guests including Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council.
Designed to develop a living legacy in Her Majesty’s name, the creation of a new ‘Queen’s Wood’ at Hertford-based Panshanger Park is now well underway and – on completion – will include a total of 17,000 trees, made up of 19 native species. Ongoing planting of the woodland continues, with the support of volunteers from local schools, businesses, community groups, families and individuals.
In addition to a group tree planting session, a young elm tree was officially planted by the Lord-Lieutenant Robert Voss CBE CStJ at the event. The sapling has been gifted and nurtured by students and teachers from nearby Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School, in Birch Green, having been successfully grown from the cutting of a Panshanger tree resistant to Dutch elm disease.
Attendees also saw the unveiling of a bespoke sculpture, which was funded by Hertfordshire County Council and created by Hertfordshire-based artist Daniel Cordell. The woodland-themed carving features wildlife present at the park and will act as a marker to signpost visitors to the entrance of Queen’s Wood.
Tarmac has worked with partners Hertfordshire County Council, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Maydencroft to develop the design of Queen’s Wood, with additional advice sought from Historic England, Natural England and Hertfordshire Gardens Trust.
Stuart Wykes, Tarmac’s director of land and natural resources, said: “I would like to thank our partners for their support and congratulate the entire team at Pansha
nger Park for the hard work that has gone into the design and delivery of our new Queen’s Wood. Our gratitude also goes to the many volunteers who have given up their time to plant trees and be part of this special project.
“We hope the local community will enjoy visiting the woodland in the years to come – honouring the life of Her Majesty and signalling a new era for Panshanger Park.”
Cllr. Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “This is a fitting tribute and lasting legacy, in a truly memorable location at Panshanger Park. We are deeply saddened at the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but I hope she approves of our efforts to honour her memory.
“The public will be able to enjoy the woodland for years to come and Hertfordshire will always remember this wood was planted in memory of our late great Monarch in celebration of her platinum jubilee.”
Mike Master, chairman of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s wonderful to see how many trees have been planted at Panshanger and what a collaborative effort it’s been with the community and local partners. This substantial woodland will improve biodiversity in the local area and help to combat the effects of climate change, absorbing carbon and reducing pollution. As well as the wildlife, which will benefit from this new habitat, so will the local community for generations to come.”
The planting of the new woodland, which is due for completion this spring, is being supported by a grant from the Forestry Commission through the England Woodland Creation Offer scheme.
Header photo caption: Lorraine Gauld, headteacher of Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School, Hertfordshire’s Lord–Lieutenant Robert Voss CBE CStJ, Cllr. Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Mike Master, chairman of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Cllr. Annie Brewster, chairman of Hertfordshire County Council and Stuart Wykes, Tarmac’s director of land and natural resources.