West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has been joining more than 500 other MPs to plant trees 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, are being planted in schools across West Lancashire, with Ms Cooper having just joined in one at All Saints Appley Bridge.
They were donated to the MP 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.
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.
Ms Cooper said: “I was delighted to take part in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project and to have these five schools eagerly come forward to receive a sapling was fantastic.
“Visiting All Saints in Appley Bridge last week was a pleasure, where the children have a real interest in the outdoors through their forest schools programme and the World War I Centenary Garden, which I visited back in 2014 when it opened.
“Whilst visiting, I was also told about their efforts to secure votes for the Aviva Community Fund project, where they have bid for IT upgrade funding. I hope the whole community gets behind them and cast their votes on the Aviva Community Fund website.”
All Saints headteacher Janet Dunn said: “Our thanks to Rosie for inviting us to take part in this Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy which the children were really excited about and getting to meet Rosie.
“One pupil even got to raise an important issue with Rosie about speeding near her house, as part of her own Archbishop of York Young Leaders Award.
“We are very grateful for Rosie’s support for our school and encouraging others to log on to the Aviva website and support our cause.”