Prince Charles on Monday urged the public to mark his mother’s 70th year as queen by planting trees around Britain, as the government unveiled plans to boost woodland habitats to combat climate change.
The prince said he was “delighted to announce this unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee in 2022”.
The 72-year-old heir to the throne urged everyone in the country to join him and “plant a tree for the jubilee — in other words a tree-bilee” from October, when planting begins.
The plan comes as the government, which has set a target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, plans to treble tree planting by the end of the current parliament in May 2024.
Queen Elizabeth II, 95, acceded to the throne in 1952 after the death of her father George VI, and was crowned the following year.
Charles was shown in a video adding the final soil to an oak tree sapling planted in a field as his mother stood watching him.
The tree was planted in the grounds of Windsor Castle, west of London, in March. Symbolically it is a Verdun Oak, trees grown from acorns from the World War I battlefield.
The Queen during her reign has officially planted more than 1,500 trees, said Charles, who has long been known for interest in environmental causes, including organic farming.
“Planting a tree is a statement of hope and faith in the future,” he added.
The project — called The Queen’s Green Canopy — aims for people to plant sustainable native trees that are resistant to diseases.
It will also highlight 70 irreplaceable ancient woodlands and train young people to plant and manage trees.
From June, schools and community groups can apply for 3 million free saplings from the Woodland Trust conservation charity.
In 1986 he gave an interview saying he talked to plants, prompting much mockery at the time.
Britain in November hosts the UN summit on climate change, COP26, and has called for greater commitments to tackle global warming.
Environment Secretary George Eustice will this week lay out plans to plant around 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres) of woodland per year for the next three years.