Tarmac is proud to announce plans to plant 17,000 trees at Panshanger Park, creating a new woodland as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Inspired by the historic design of the Grade II* listed park, the initiative will restore woodland areas and parkland in the northern part of the park which is currently used for arable farming.
To develop the design, Tarmac have worked closely with partners Hertfordshire County Council, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, and Maydencroft, with additional advice sought from Historic England, Natural England, and Hertfordshire Gardens Trust.
The design will incorporate 19 different species of trees to create a diverse and resilient woodland which will provide resistance to future climate changes.
Stuart Wykes, Tarmac’s director of Land & Natural Resources, said: “The Queen has given so much to the nation and Commonwealth during her 70-year reign, so it is only fitting that we commemorate her Platinum Jubilee with this exciting initiative.
“We are delighted to be able to support The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign by planting a diverse variety of magnificent trees from which we hope a spectacular woodland will grow at Panshanger Park.
“It will not only provide a fitting tribute to The Queen but also give many years of enjoyment to visitors to the park.”
The planting will link existing woodland, creating new corridors for wildlife to move freely. There are also plans to include a wildflower meadow and ponds to create a mix of habitats where wildlife can thrive.
And there is a climate benefit too because the 17,000 trees planted will lock up more than 2,600 tonnes of carbon over the next 50 years, contributing to the environmental sustainability of the park.
New paths will be created to allow park visitors to access the woodland and the public is being invited to help.
Stuart added: “With 17,000 trees to plant, we will need some help! Once planting begins there will be many opportunities for the local community, park users and schools to get involved.”
Cllr Eric Buckmaster, Executive Member for The Environment at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “The county council has played a leading role in coordinating Hertfordshire’s efforts in the Queen’s Green Canopy, and we are extremely pleased to have almost 50,000 trees pledged to be planted across the county. The planned woodland at Panshanger Park is a huge boon to our efforts to leave a lasting legacy for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and we look forward to working in partnership with Tarmac to deliver this project.”
Ian Pigott, OBE DL, Herts QGC lead, said: “We are extremely proud of how Hertfordshire is supporting the QGC and creating a wonderful legacy, celebrating her Majesty’s extraordinary reign. The 17,000 trees being planted at Panshanger Park are a highlight. We are enormously grateful to Tarmac for their support of the QGC and the enjoyment this wood will give to Hertfordshire residents for generations to come.”
Tim Hill, Conservation Manager at Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s great to see the Queens Green Canopy initiative taking shape at Panshanger Park. The Park is already a wonderful place for wildlife, so the creation of more natural wild spaces is very welcome news. Healthy ecosystems, like diverse woodland with ponds and open grassland, are a powerful tool in our fight against the nature and climate crises, so Panshanger’s Green Canopy will help to create a wilder and more sustainable future for Hertfordshire.”
The park is a realm of rich history, boasting magnificent arboreal specimens such as the famed Panshanger Great Oak which, legend suggest, was planted by Queen Elizabeth I, and was visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert when they stayed at Panshanger House in 1841. Prince Albert planted a tree grown using an acorn from the Great Oak at Speech House in the Forest of Dean. The current Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, has since planted another tree at Speech House from an acorn from Prince Albert’s oak.
“We are planning to collect acorns from the great oak to grow new saplings that will be planted in the new woodland over the coming years to continue this royal legacy,” added Stuart.
Plans have been submitted to the Forestry Commission for approval, with an aim to start planting trees in November 2022.
Pictures – top: Just one of the woodlands at Panshanger Park, where bluebells flourish; as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project, another 17,000 trees are to be planted across the park and (inset) the Great Oak, which stands proud over Panshanger Park, is believed to have been planted by Queen Elizabeth I.