Featuring a unique conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough as they walked in the garden at Buckingham Palace last summer, a new landmark documentary from ITV will explore the ambition of a remarkable new initiative – a vast network of native forests across Britain and the Commonwealth, protected forever in The Queen’s name.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) is creating a network of forest conservation initiatives across all 53 Commonwealth countries to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime’s service to the Commonwealth, while preserving natural habitat for future generations.
In the run up to this landmark documentary, entitled The Queen’s Green Planet (made by ITN Productions), ITV announced a special campaign giving viewers at home the opportunity to be a part of this initiative.
The Woodland Trust will provide 50,000 trees for ITV viewers, funded by Sainsbury’s, for a plant-a-tree campaign which will run on the network leading up to the documentary’s transmission in mid April.
ITV daytime programmes Good Morning Britain and This Morning will be giving viewers the opportunity to sign up to receive one of the 10,000 packs containing five trees. The campaign is open to all viewers as well as schools, community groups, and associations.
Each pack will contain five UK-sourced and grown native broadleaf trees – two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel – for ITV viewers to plant as their own contribution to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
The packs will be free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. Successful applicants will first receive a special commemorative booklet which will be sent out in spring to coincide with the documentary’s transmission. This will include information and photographs on the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project, and educational information about trees, and how to nurture them.
The trees will then be sent out in autumn 2018, the best season in which to plant young trees, and packs will include guidance on how to plant and nurture them.
Woodland Trust chair, Baroness Young said: “The Woodland Trust is delighted to be partnering with ITV in support of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
“Thanks to funding from Sainsbury’s we are giving people the opportunity to connect with nature and their wider community by planting and nurturing native trees while becoming a tangible part of this inspirational legacy.
“Trees are a cornerstone of our landscape and countryside, forming an essential and cherished part of our cultural identity. They are crucial in improving soil health and water quality, reducing carbon, trapping pollutants, slowing the flow of flood water, sheltering livestock, providing a home for wildlife or a space for us to breathe. They look good, they do good and we are thrilled Her Majesty feels the same.”
Sainsbury’s CEO, Mike Coupe said: “As the Woodland Trust’s largest corporate partner, we’re committed to raising awareness of the importance of the UK’s woods and trees, and contributing to their conservation.
“I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by woods, so trees have a particular resonance with me. Sainsbury’s recently planted its three millionth tree with the Trust, and the thought of being able to get 50,000 more in the ground as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, in support of this fantastic documentary, is an exciting prospect. We hope people will embrace the opportunity to join us in this initiative.”
ITV’s controller of factual, Jo Clinton Davis said: “Our film, The Queen’s Green Planet, shows not only the Queen’s interest in trees, but also how an ambitious global project has spread across the Commonwealth, with countries all around the world dedicating forests and tree planting initiatives in her name. Rare is the project that starts as a finite one hour documentary and ends up generating the momentum for a timeless campaigning event. We are thrilled that the Woodland Trust and Sainsbury’s have come together to give our viewers the opportunity to be part of this, the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.”