Crispin Blunt has today joined over 500 other MPs by planting trees in his constituency 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.
The trees - two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel – were panted in Chucks Meadow, Lady Neville Park, Banstead
They were donated to Crispin Blunt 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 less well-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.
Crispin Blunt, one of 508 MPs who took up the offer, said: “I am delighted to take part in this national and commonwealth initiative to plant more trees, especially in my own constituency, and would like to thank all the volunteers of ‘Banstead Village in Bloom’ an amazing local organisation that is part a nationwide community gardening campaign to transform cities, towns and villages, for helping to make this happen.”
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 Reigate and Banstead will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”