MORE than 11,000 trees were planted across Dudley as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative which resulted in more than 150,000 trees taking root across the West Midlands’ Lieutenancy area.

Originally due to conclude in December at the end of the Jubilee year, the scheme was extended to the end of March 2023 to include the full tree planting season as a lasting tribute to the late Queen.

Among the highlights in Dudley was a partnership between Dudley Council’s Green Care Team, Severn Trent and EarthWatch to plant four Tiny Forests around the borough totalling 2,400 trees. The council also planted another 9,000 trees during the QGC campaign bringing the Dudley-wide total during the initiative to 11,500 trees.

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor personally attended some 20 plantings, often accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Sir John Crabtree OBE or Deputy Lieutenants.

During the Platinum Jubilee year, West Midlands Deputy Lieutenants visited more than 20 borough schools, several of which included the planting of commemorative trees.

Several other schools planted trees - 15 of which are recorded on QGC’s digital map. The map also reveals 50 individuals recorded private tree plantings across the borough.

Dudley also received three trees from the Tree of Trees which originally formed part of the 21-metre/70-ft tall Tree of Trees designed by Thomas Heatherwick and which stood outside Buckingham Palace for the Platinum Jubilee. The Tree of Trees played a starring role when it was illuminated as the principal Platinum Jubilee beacon and consisted of 80 steel “branches” holding 350 native trees in aluminium pots bearing the Queen's cipher.

Each one was planted in a public community location with a Deputy Lieutenant and the Mayor of Dudley yielding spades on each occasion.

Kevin O’Keefe, Dudley Council’s chief executive, said: “We were only too pleased to play an active part in the Queen’s Green Canopy. The trees planted are a lasting legacy to the late Queen and will have also brought the importance of the environment to the forefront of the minds of children and the wider community in Dudley.”

While the Jubilee project has come to an end, the QGC has announced it would fund the planting of a specimen tree in the West Midlands as part of a programme which will see plantings in each of the 98 lieutenancies across the UK later this year, to mark the coronation of King Charles III.

All seven local authorities in the West Midlands participated in the programme which saw children and adults donning boots and wielding spades to plant 150,000 trees including whips, standards, fruit trees and hedging.

Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Sir John Crabtree, said: “It has been a joyous celebration tinged with the sadness of Her Majesty’s death during her Jubilee Year.

“I want to thank the thousands of volunteers of all ages who have shown such remarkable support for this great initiative and who have turned out in their droves in both good and bad weather to mark Her Majesty’s great achievements and commitment to service.

“I know the Royal Family has been touched by the warmth shown by all those who have participated in the planting of the Queen’s Green Canopy and whose efforts will be appreciated by generations to come.”