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Rutland's Lord Lieutenant joins Rotaract Family Support Group for Queen's Green Canopy campaign

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A tree-planting ceremony has taken place as part of the Queen's Green Canopy campaign.

Rutland's Lord Lieutenant, Dr Sarah Furness, is among those who attended in a hope to encourage more people to plant trees in Rutland while meeting the Queen's wish to leave a lasting beneficial legacy.

Helping with the planting were families from the Rotaract Family Support Group, who were also awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service on Tuesday.

Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness with Paul Martin, chief executive of St John and St Anne
Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness with Paul Martin, chief executive of St John and St Anne

Dr Furness said: "The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign is to provide opportunity for people to mark the jubilee in a positive way, leave a legacy of something beautiful for future generations and help the planet.

"Trees are a major means of sequestering carbon.

"It is, principally, high levels of carbon dioxide that are causing global warming."

Dr Furness says that research has shown that 37.7 per cent of Europe is covered in forest with only 10 per cent of England being woodland. In Rutland only 6.3 per cent is woodland, which equates to 2.532 hectares.

"Rutland needs more trees," she added.

Native species, shading benefits and beauty has influenced the tree planting choices of Rutland’s oldest charity as it participated in the Queen’s Jubilee Canopy project.

Despite the rainy weather, the Lord Lieutenant completed the tree planting with a winter cherry at St Anne's Close on Tuesday last week, accompanied by the chairman of governors and was watched by a small group of stalwart residents.

Dr Furness said: “This is the first tree to be planted in Oakham as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy Initiative.

"It will not only benefit the community but tree planting is so important to help combat climate change.”

Tree planting needs to take place during the winter months, so many communities are picking up their spades to get them planted while the weather is still cold.

This winter, 70 trees have been planted at Ketton while 105 have been put in the ground between Cottesmore and Greetham.

An avenue of trees has also been planted on farmland in Ashwell and more trees are planned in Barleythorpe and Whissendine, while in Oakham three small leaved limes will be planted at William Dalby House.

"We need many more if we are to increase our tree coverage and carbon sequestration significantly.

"I am keen to encourage more tree planting and to hear about all plans," said Dr Furness.

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