North Swindon MP, Justin Tomlinson has joined British Land at the Orbital Shopping Park to plant trees outside his community as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative.
The trees were donated by the Woodland Trust in partnership with Sainsbury’s and ITV, and are part of the QCC initiative – which seeks to expand and create new areas of protected woodland across the UK and Commonwealth.
The Royal Commonwealth Society, in consultation with Cool Earth and the Commonwealth Forestry Association, coordinates projects across 45 Commonwealth countries - with more expected to join. Since being launched following the Commonwealth Leaders’ Summit in Malta, hundreds of thousands of hectares of land has either been committed to preservation or for planting millions more trees.
Planting trees and protecting existing woodland, whether it is a large area of land or not, is one of the most effective ways to store carbon rather as part of the carbon cycle to produce oxygen, otherwise it builds up in the atmosphere as C02 and contributes to climate change. In addition to existing UK QCC projects Justin has joined thousands of projects in the UK that have contributed to smaller planting projects by linking his constituency in North Swindon to the QCC. Of the ones planted by Justin, all are native trees, whose species included; Rowan, Hazel and Silver Birch. They are located at the Orbital Shopping Park, close to Justin’s Community Office.
Justin Tomlinson MP said “Trees are vital for the environment, and it is important that we encourage tree planting and increase the use of green spaces. Many people enjoy trees and wooded areas, and I hope that people will be able to enjoy the trees I have planted for a long time to come.”
Jamie Turner, centre manager at Orbital Shopping Park, said, “The wellbeing of our shoppers is really important to us and, as one of the leading shopping and leisure destinations in Swindon, we see the future of our local community as our responsibility.
“We’re so pleased to be supporting the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) initiative and working with Justin and the other partners to plant the trees here at Orbital Shopping Park.”
Woodland Trust Chair Baroness Young said, “The Woodland Trust is delighted to be partnering with ITV in support of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. Thanks to funding from Sainsbury’s we are giving people the opportunity to connect with nature and their wider community by planting and nurturing native trees while becoming a tangible part of this inspirational legacy.
Trees 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. They look good, they do good and we are thrilled Her Majesty feels the same.”