60,000 trees planted for Queen's Diamond Jubilee face axe to make way for homes

Watch: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee plans set with extra Bank Holiday

Tens of thousands of trees planted to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee could be chopped down, even amid a campaign to plant trees for her Platinum Jubilee.

Some 60,000 trees are under threat in Lincolnshire because of plans to build 4,000 homes on former military land at the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks.

One of those that could be removed was planted by Princess Anne, the Queen's only daughter, who was invited to plant the final tree in 2014.

At the time, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, part of the Ministry of Defence, said it would be an "enduring celebration" of the Diamond Jubilee.

Buckingham Palace has announced a similar tree planting scheme to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, which takes place in 2022, with Prince Charles and the Queen planting the first one in the grounds of Windsor Castle over Easter.

SANDRINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 3:  Queen Elizabeth II arrives for a Tree Planting ceremony in the Diamond Jubilee Wood on the Sandringham estate to mark her Diamond jubilee on February 3, 2012 in Sandringham, England. Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne on February 6, 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI. Her coronation took place on June 2, 1953. (Photo by Arthur Edwards/WPA -Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen during a Tree Planting ceremony in the Diamond Jubilee Wood on the Sandringham estate in February 2012. (Arthur Edwards/WPA – Pool/Getty Images)

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The Woodland Trust is said to be frustrated with the future of the trees planted for the last jubilee, with many facing the chop barely a decade after they were planned.

According to The Times, planning documents for the site in Grantham show only 20% of the current trees would be saved, which the Woodland Trust has said equates to 67,000 removed, having allowed for those which died.

Woodland Trust campaigner Oliver Newham told the paper: "The Woodland Trust accepts that a percentage of the young trees on site may need to go in order to facilitate this development. But the plans, which propose up to 4,000 new houses, appear to have priorities alarmingly wrong.

"The government declared a climate and environment emergency in 2019 and set a target to dramatically increase woodland cover to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."

Princess Anne planted the last tree in the area in 2014, but it could be removed for houses. (Gov.UK)
Princess Anne planted the last tree in the area in 2014, but it could be removed for houses. (Gov.UK)

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The group has called for a revised masterplan with a "much higher priority on retaining the trees on site".

A Homes England spokesperson told Yahoo UK: "The initial proposals seek to deliver a sustainable and viable new community comprising up to 4,000 much-needed new homes and employment space centred around parks and woodlands.

"Under these plans, whilst a number of the smaller trees would be removed, other areas of woodland will be planted; creating new, more valuable habitats with a long-term benefit for the environment. The feedback that we received during our consultation will be carefully considered and used to help us shape our future plans."

Documents shared online also pledge a "woodland theme" in two primary schools, and tree-lined streets across the development.

Tree planting is one of the easiest ways people can be involved with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, to be celebrated in 2022, as she passes the 70-year mark of her reign.

The Woodland Trust is coordinating the Queen's Green Canopy for 2022, and any trees planted between October 2021 and the end of 2022 can be part of the canopy.

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