The Queen's Green Canopy Logo

Plans unveiled for a new woodland at Wicksteed Park

The Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative, to mark the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee, has been launched across Northamptonshire – with the announcement of a new 1.6-acre woodland area at Wicksteed Park.

As part of the project, everyone across the UK is being invited to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee” from this October, when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.

The national network of Lord Lieutenants is helping to galvanize tree planting activities across the country, with communities, charities, schools, youth groups, councils and landowners planting trees to create a lasting legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the nation.

The launch of the county’s contribution to the scheme was marked when HM Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire James Saunders Watson and Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, planted a tree at the Kettering park today (Wednesday October 13).

The tree is a sapling from one of the oldest trees, a giant oak believed to be more than 300 years old and situated close to the site of the former tea rooms, which were destroyed by fire almost 20 years ago.

The Trust also announced that its contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative would be to plant a new 1.6 acre woodland at the park, recreating the Paradise Spinney which was historically on the site close to the fishing lake and park railway.

The new woodland, which will have the same name, will allow people who would not otherwise have anywhere to plant a tree to be able to take part.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire James Saunders Watson said: “The project aim is to thank Her Majesty for her exceptional service, celebrate her Platinum Jubilee and promote the importance of trees to the environment, through the encouragement of tree planting and tree preservation across the nation.

“The campaign will see everyone from individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates planting trees to create a lasting legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the nation, and which will enhance our environment and the landscape for generations to come

“Tree planting enhances both the rural and urban landscape, helps with biodiversity and with combating climate change so is good for people, wildlife and the environment. What better way to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee than to plant a tree.”

The park is working together with the Woodland Trust to provide the trees for the Paradise Spinney project, with planting due to begin early next year.

Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, said: “We hope that the new Paradise Spinney will not only be a fitting tribute to Her Majesty but will encourage community engagement as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, giving people who may not otherwise have been involved the chance to plant a tree.

“It will also restore an area of ancient woodland and create a wonderful area for people to enjoy.”

Plans for the Paradise Spinney include a mixed woodland along with a wetland area and further details on how to get involved and volunteer to help with planting are available at (to be confirmed.)

Notes to editors:

As well as inviting the planting of new trees, The Queen’s Green Canopy will highlight and showcase 70 amazing and irreplaceable Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.

The QGC project will also create a pilot training programme for unemployed young people aged between 16-24 through Capel Manor College, London’s only specialist environmental college of which The Queen Mother was Patron, to plant and manage trees.

From October, all planting projects can be uploaded onto an interactive map on the new QGC website ( so that everyone can share and inspire others, as well as creating a green canopy of projects to cover the country.

Trees and the environment:

1.British oak trees support an estimated 2,300 species, an incredible variety of wildlife.

2. A mature tree can absorb up to 150kg of CO2 a year.

3. UK Green spaces remove up to 1.3 billion kg of air pollutants each year.

4. Well-placed trees can help cool the air between 2 and 8 degrees in urban communities.

5. Just 13% of the UK is covered in trees, compared to an average 37% in other European countries.

6. A mature tree can sequester around 21kg of carbon dioxide per year. That’s as much carbon as is produced by a car driven up to 8700 miles.

7. Spending time around trees can improve our physical and mental health. Trees release chemicals called phytoncides, which have been proven to reduce blood pressure, lower anxiety levels and increase pain threshold when we breathe them in.

8. A large oak tree can consume about 100 gallons of water per day, and a giant sequoia can drink up to 500 gallons daily.

9. A study has shown that housing developments surrounded by trees and greenery have 52% fewer crimes than those in nearby identical housing surrounded by barren land.

10. Urban trees capture around 55-110kgs of particulate pollution, such as dust, dirt and soot each year.

11. Street trees block noise by using their leaves, twigs, and branches to absorb and deflect sound waves.

12. While trees only cover around 30% of Earth’s land surface, they are home to 80% of the world’s known terrestrial biodiversity.

13. Research shows that the presence of trees can make the wait for a bus seem shorter. The more mature trees there are at bus stops, the shorter the wait time is perceived.

14. Shoppers claim that they will spend 9% to 12% more on goods and services in retail areas that have canopy cover and streetscape greening.

15. A mature evergreen tree can intercept more than 15,000 litres of water per year, helping to reduce the risk of flooding.

Issued on behalf of HM Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire

For further information, please contact:

Andrew TurnerAndrew Turner Public Relations