Sir David Attenborough praises tree-planting project
Archived press release
Date Published: 21/12/11
Sir David Attenborough meets AVDC officers
Sir David Attenborough has thanked Aylesbury Vale District Council for supporting a tree-planting project to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year.
The legendary broadcaster and naturalist expressed his gratitude to the authority for generously donating cuttings from Black Poplar trees in Aylesbury Vale.
The cuttings have been used to grow more than 50 Black Poplars which are being planted over the 620 square miles of London to commemorate The Queen’s 60-year reign.
AVDC officers met with Sir David Attenborough at a tree planting ceremony in London’s Holland Park. Representatives of all 32 London boroughs were in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to receive the Black Poplars from Sir David and the Lord Lieutenant for Greater London, Sir David Brewer.
Sir David Attenborough was full of praise for the project and recognised the leading contribution that AVDC is making to Black Poplar conservation.
Mursley resident and Black Poplar enthusiast Roger Jefcoate approached Sir David Brewer with the idea to plant a Black Poplar in each London borough to mark The Queen’s Jubilee.
The Lord-Lieutenant agreed that it would be an excellent idea, especially as the Black Poplar is one of The Queen’s favourite species of tree. The Queen has also planted the trees on her estates and in the Royal Parks.
After getting the go-ahead for the project, Roger approached Aylesbury Vale District Council for help. Aylesbury Vale is home to over half the country's Black Poplar population and the district council leads the UK Black Poplar Conservation Group.
The necessary cuttings were taken from trees in the district and special nurseries were established in Mursley and London’s Holland Park, by Vale Countryside Volunteers, so that they could root in time for the planting season.
The saplings did spectacularly well, and more than 50 healthy specimens were ready for replanting in their new homes to mark National Tree Week.
Councillor David Thompson, Cabinet Member for Leisure at AVDC, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to play a part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. The Black Poplar trees will be a living reminder of the Diamond Jubilee and it is a marvellous way to mark such a wonderful occasion. I would like to thank our biodiversity team, Vale Countryside Volunteers and Roger Jefcoate for their contribution towards the project.”
Black Poplars can take up to 100 years to reach full maturity though some trees can reach a height of 40 to 60 feet within 15 years. The trees used to be a common sight across England, but are now one of our rarest native trees.