Britain's Racecourses Start Tree Planting For The Jubilee
And it’s not just Ain-tree and Good-wood!
ALL 60 of Britain’s racecourses will be marking the 60 years of The Queen’s reign by planting trees, coppices or Jubilee Woods as part of a national campaign by The Woodland Trust.
The Jubilee Woods Project has set itself the goal of seeing six million trees planted in 2012, along with hundreds of new woodlands and 60 Diamond Woods of at least 60 acres.
The racing industry’s involvement will take in every racecourse in the country, from Perth in Scotland to Folkestone in Kent as well as the very aptly named Goodwood and Aintree race tracks.
Much of the planting work will commence this month, assisting the charity’s ambitious plan of getting one million trees in the ground during February 2012.
Stephen Atkin, Chief Executive of the Racecourse Association, said: “We are delighted that all racecourses are participating in the campaign. It is a mark of appreciation for the contribution The Queen makes to British horse racing as well as recognition of the importance of the environment and racecourses’ contribution to the wider community.”
Several racecourses have already started their planting programmes, with Sandown Park well on the way to completing an avenue of Acers within its grounds. Taunton Racecourse is supporting the Buckingham Palace backed initiative by planting a coppice of birch which will provide sustainable fence building materials in years to come. Amongst the others, Hexham Racecourse will be planting a copse of Royal oaks, creating a lasting legacy for the Northumberland track, while Haydock Park between Liverpool and Manchester is planting 400 trees and Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire 100.
At Aintree, a tree will be planted close to the most famous fence that horses jump in the Grand National – Becher’s Brook.
One of the most ambitious projects is at Ffos Las in west Wales, Britain’s newest racecourse, where about 45,000 birch, ash, rowan, hazel, oak and other native trees have been planted to create a new 60-acre Diamond Wood within the 600-acre Ffos Las land-holding.
Dai Walters, the Chairman of Ffos Las, said: “I’m delighted that Ffos Las has been selected as one of the exclusive Diamond Woods. It’s great to be part of the Jubilee celebrations across the country. We always recognised the huge contributions that trees could make in creating a superb racing venue at Ffos Las. Within as little as ten years we will have created a wonderful new woodland.”
The work began last year when Prince Charles planted a commemorative oak during his visit to the racecourse. The tree planting will be completed this month with a schools and community planting week.
The new woodland at Ffos Las will not only provide a superb wildlife habitat and an attractive backdrop for the racetrack, it will also provide a sustainable local source of birch branches, which are used to construct the racecourse’s fences.
Georgina McLeod, Director of Jubilee Woods, said: “It’s fantastic that racecourses across the country will be playing a part in helping the Woodland Trust to plant six million trees through its Jubilee Woods project. Horse racing has always been a big part of royal life and it is a fitting tribute to one of our longest reigning monarchs that racecourses across Britain will plant symbolic trees and woods to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”
Rod Street, Chief Executive of Great British Racing, said: “In view of The Queen’s passion for horse racing, it seems very appropriate that each of Britain’s 60 racecourses should be celebrating Her Majesty’s Jubilee in such a meaningful way.”
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