Garden guru Alan Titchmarsh vows to save Queen's tree in M25 widening row

Alan Titchmarsh (Rex)
Alan Titchmarsh (Rex)

TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh is going to war to try and save a tree planted by the Queen.

The giant redwood is under threat because of a road-widening scheme linked to M25 improvements.

The tree could be one of 500 chopped down at the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley, in Surrey.

One of the 500 trees was planted by the Queen as part of her silver jubille celebrations back in 1977.

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Titchmarsh – famous for such programmes as Ground Force – slammed the plan as “garden-grabbing”.

“We must stand together and protect our gardens,” reported the BBC.

RHS Wisley, in Surrey
RHS Wisley, in Surrey

“I’m calling on the UK’s army of 27 million gardeners to make it known that a disregard for these important trees and lack of appreciation of the national importance of this garden would not be acceptable.”

The 68-year-old is a RHS ambassador.

The road extension plan is still under consideration.

It involves widening the A3 at the junction of the M25.

Highways England said the gardens would benefit from “better, safer access” if the proposal to remove the trees goes ahead.

However, RHS director general Sue Biggs called the plan “criminal” and said “irreplaceable woodland” would be lost if the trees were cut down.

The M25 (Rex)
The M25 (Rex)

It has called on Highways England to choose another option for road-widening.

Project manager Hugh Coakley said: “Highways England cares about the environment, and protecting the special habitats around Wisley is a priority for us as we develop our proposals for major improvements at the junction of the M25 and A3 in Surrey.

“Both the options we consulted on in the winter include better, safer access to Wisley Gardens and we will continue to work closely with RHS Wisley as we take the project forward.”