Robin Walker has given several trees to local charities 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.
As Worcester’s MP, Robin accepted a small number of trees and has awarded them to local organisations that have made a valuable contribution to the local community.
St Richard’s Hospice and Acorns were presented with their trees on Friday, with St Paul’s Hostel and The Breast Cancer Unit currently having their presentation ceremonies scheduled.
Since 2010, over 11 million trees have been planted and 50 Marine Conservation Zones created to help protect our rich marine life; with a further 11 million trees on their way and 41 new Marine Conservation Zones proposed.
Internationally, Ministers are calling for a third of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030, trebling the current global target. The 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment will build on these developments.
Earlier this year, Robin supported the ban on plastic straws as many constituents in Worcester were, and remain, concerned about single-use plastics and their detrimental effects on the environment. The great results seen since the introduction of the plastic bag charge – with 9 billion fewer bags in circulation since 2015 – show that seemingly small initiatives can make an enormous difference in changing our habits.
The saplings were donated to Robin 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 little-known 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, making it ITV’s most watched factual programme of the year.
In support of the programme the Woodland Trust provided 50,000 trees for ITV viewers, and via the Rt Hon Frank Field MP, who conceived the QCC initiative, also offered a special commemorative pack to every MP in the UK.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) is a unique network of forest conservation projects which unites the Commonwealth family of nations to save one of the world’s most important natural habitats. Established in the name of Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth, this initiative is committed to raising awareness of the value of established indigenous forests, and saving them for future generations, as well as planting new forest.
Robin, one of 508 MPs who took up the offer, said:
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to put Worcester forward for this fantastic campaign, which not only symbolises the importance of the Commonwealth, but also encourages the preservation of our natural environment. The organisations chosen have all provided an invaluable service to the people of Worcester, and I am always very keen to recognise this hard work. Improving the condition of our environment requires a global consensus, and earlier this year I was pleased to see the positive reception given to the Prime Minister’s call for action by Commonwealth leaders. Our work with the British Overseas Territories already makes a sizeable contribution in this field, and with the support of the Commonwealth we will be well placed to do even more. I am delighted that the Government remains committed to achieving our goal of being the first Government to leave our environment in a better condition than that which we inherited.”
Woodland Trust Chief Executive 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 Worcester will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”
Notes to editors
- For media queries regarding the Woodland Trust’s involvement in the QCC project, please contact Dee Smith on 0343 770 5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org