Epping Forest Silver Birch grove planted in memory of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Today (15 December), His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, Ranger of Epping Forest, alongside civic leaders from the City of London Corporation, and the London Boroughs of Redbridge, Waltham Forest, and Newham, planted the final trees in a grove of 70 Silver Birch at Wanstead Flats.

Volunteers from the City of London and North-East Sector Army Cadet Force began planting the grove this week, alongside Epping Forest Keepers.

The 70 trees represent the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and will be dedicated as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign. The trees join Epping Forest’s more than one million trees, 55,000 of which are considered ancient – one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom.

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a tree planting initiative created to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in June. Following her passing in September, His Majesty The King agreed to extend the scheme to allow people to plant trees in her memory.

Wanstead Flats is managed by the City Corporation as part of Epping Forest, a registered charity.

The trees will create a new woodland adjacent to a children’s play area and the Jubilee Pond. Improvements will also be made to the surrounding area, including new wharfing at a popular bird feeding area at the edge of the pond.

Silver Birch trees are tolerant to a range of temperatures and help absorb carbon dioxide and filter air pollution. The trees have a light, open canopy, creating the perfect conditions for biodiverse vegetation and providing food and habitat for more than 300 insect species.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, Ben Murphy, said:

“This new grove of trees will serve as a permanent tribute to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s remarkable reign and her 70 years of unfaltering commitment to public service.

“The City Corporation is proud to support this campaign, creating a living legacy and bringing together communities to counteract the effects of climate change.

“The grove will be a welcoming space for all Epping Forest visitors to enjoy, as well as filtering air pollution and creating new wildlife habitats.”

In May, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and Ashtead Common were chosen by The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign as part of a nationwide network of 70 ancient woodlands.

Wanstead Flats was chosen for the Epping Forest memorial planting as a grove was established on the Flats in 1953 to mark Her Late Majesty The Queen’s coronation.

The City Corporation manages over 11,000 acres of open space in London and south-east England, including Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath, and over 200 smaller sites in the Square Mile, investing over £38m a year.

These sites, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve.

They include important wildlife habitats, Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves.

They remove around 16,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere a year, equivalent to 44% of the City Corporation’s annual carbon footprint.

They are protected from being built on by special legislation.


Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk