Bradford is to become home to an “urban forest” as part of a project celebrating the Queen’s platinum jubilee with tree planting across the country.
The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) will on Saturday unveil the flagship initiative to create the city woodland through the planting of 10,000 trees in the city’s Newhall Park.
Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh, who is a QGC ambassador, described the project – to be launched at the start of National Tree Week – as a “brilliant local initiative”.
The QGC was established to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign in 2022 with the public invited to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.
Mr Titchmarsh said: “With the tree-planting season now in full swing, I am proud to say that I’ve planted my Jubilee tree, joining people from all over the country who are getting involved with this special initiative to celebrate Her Majesty.
“The season runs from October to March so be sure to grab a spade soon and ‘Plant a tree for the Jubilee’.”
As one of the UK’s youngest and most diverse cities with over a quarter of its population under 16, the project will celebrate Bradford’s multiculturalism and commitment to tree planting across areas of socioeconomic need.
Working in partnership with the charity Trees for Cities and the City of Bradford Metropolitan Council, the QGC will bring together the local community, school students and voluntary groups of all ages to plant 10,000 trees.
The project also contributes to the council’s “Tree for Every Child” programme, which forms part of a broader plan to plant 55,000 trees over the next three years.
Volunteers on Saturday, including former Bradford resident Alastair Campbell, will plant a variety of species to transform a flat and underused space into what will eventually become a vibrant and accessible woodland for local communities, which has 10 primary schools within a one-mile radius.
The former Labour spin doctor said: “I am looking forward to going back to Bradford to plant some trees as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.
“I spent the first 11 years of my life in West Yorkshire and I think travelling around with my dad on his vet’s rounds visiting farms was when I first experienced the power and the pull of beautiful scenery. Trees are so important to that, and so important to our urban life too.
“But above all we perhaps know more than ever now, in the wake of the recent Cop, that they are vital to our future survival, and that of other species.”
Under the QGC project the public were encouraged to begin tree planting on October 1, when the tree-planting season began, through to March 2022, and it will start again next October until the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.