Plant hedgerows and avenues of trees to remember COVID victims, says Prince Charles

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The Prince of Wales has suggested that avenues of hedgerows and trees could be planted across the country to remember those who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prince Charles makes the comments in an article written for Country Life magazine to mark his 73rd birthday.

Talking about the environmental importance of hedgerows as "the country's single biggest nature reserve", he writes: "I have always felt that avenues are a wonderful enhancement to the landscape and give great pleasure to so many people, as well as providing another way of planting more trees in general."

Explaining how they could be planted in memory of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, he added: "Over the past two years of this dreadful pandemic, I have also felt that commemorating all those who have so tragically died through planting avenues in their memory in different parts of the country, whether in towns, cities or the countryside, might be something worth considering."

The prince, who is a keen hedge layer himself, has planted more than 15 miles of hedgerows at his Gloucestershire home Highgrove over the years, and also encouraged more hedge laying at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, which he manages on behalf of the Queen.

Describing his own battle with prickly trees and shrubs each winter, he says in the article: "Our remaining hedgerows are still the country's single biggest nature reserve, offering important green corridors and an abundance of food and protection for wildlife…This is why, despite looking as if I have just come off the field at Agincourt, I continue to wrestle each winter with lethal hawthorn and blackthorn branches in an attempt to lay some of the hedges I have planted over the past 41 years."

The royal fascination with tree planting is really expected to take off next year. The prince explains how the Duchy of Cornwall is planning to celebrate Prince William's 40th birthday next year with the planting of tree avenues.

In addition, the Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) scheme, of which Charles is patron, is calling on the public to "plant a tree for the jubilee" to mark the Queen's Platinum jubilee.

Seventy years as monarch for his mother also means Charles will be marking 70 years as heir to the throne and the Duke of Cornwall, so the Duchy of Cornwall is preparing to plant 70 copses, each with 70 trees, at prominent locations on its land, the prince said.

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