As Burghley Horse Trials celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Woodland Trust marked its new Jubilee Woods project with a ceremonial tree planting at Burghley House that will eventually become a 60 acre Diamond Wood.
The Burghley House Preservation Trust, in partnership with the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project, has drawn up plans for a new woodland on the site, which will span 60 acres and see over 23,650 trees planted, including woodland blocks and a continuation of the tree lined avenues for which Burghley is famed.
The Princess Royal, who famously won Burghley on Doublet in 1971 at the tender age of 21, is patron of the Jubilee Woods project. The aim is to plant 6 million trees by the end of 2012 and involve millions of people across the UK.
As part of the project the Trust is looking for landowners, of all kinds, to plant a Diamond or Jubilee Wood on their own land. Trees can be planted to benefit horses by providing them with a natural source of shade and shelter, creating a windbreak and also protection from strong sun, with no need for planning permission like many field shelters. The Burghley Estate* is one of 60 prestigious sites which will be approved as a special Diamond Wood, and is honoured that HRH The Princess Royal planted the first tree of the Jubilee Woods planting season on the Estate.
Miranda Rock, House Director of Burghley said: ”We are delighted that Burghley has been chosen to be one of the Diamond Jubilee woods. This 60 acre site will be a very important addition to our aims to preserve and regenerate the historic landscape of this great Estate and also an important timber resource for the future.
“The Jubilee Wood will provide an enduring natural habitat for wildlife, with open areas providing foraging habitat for Barn Owls and Skylarks and the high shrub element to encourage Bullfinch foraging. In total we expect to be planting over 22,000 trees and it is a great honour that HRH The Princess Royal has planted the first of these trees, a Wild Service Tree that has been grown from seed on the Estate.”
The plans will see public planting events, with the local community and schools getting involved in landscape conservation, adding to the current educational activities to help both schoolchildren and the general public learn more about how wooded areas grow and change. Last year over 6,500 children from over 144 schools visited Burghley.
Georgina McLeod, project head at the Woodland Trust, said: “In just 10 years the trees will be taller than the average person and the woodland will be full of wildlife for many people to enjoy. We can only make this exciting and ambitious project successful with everyone’s help. Nearly 100,000 people visited Burghley Horse Trials in 2011, if each of those planted just one tree we would achieve 10% of our 1 million tree planting target for the month of February next year! We want to give people the chance to plant trees and we’re appealing to our supporters, community groups, individuals, organisations and businesses, to help make this happen.”
It is not just about marking The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, planting woods will help create valuable habitats for native species. Woodland protection and safeguarding comes hand in hand with woodland creation, protecting what precious woodland we have, whilst creating more for the future. The Jubilee Woods project gives everybody the chance to do something to help create a lasting woodland legacy for future generations.
The Project which has The Queen’s support will commemorate the 2012 Diamond Jubilee, marking Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year as monarch. After Queen Victoria in 1897, she is the only British sovereign ever to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee.