Diamond Jubilee: Scotland to get 20 new forests for Jubilee

A THIRD of 60 new woods being created to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee are being planted in Scotland.The 20 new native forests will spread from Stornoway to Stirling and from Dunbeath to Dalbeattie.

It is part of a UK-wide project by the Woodland Trust charity to create Diamond Jubilee Woods – one for each year of the Queen’s reign.

The Scottish forests will see 1.5 million trees planted, covering more than 2,500 acres – a collective area of woodland nearly four times the size of Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.

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Organisers say the forest will create a long-lasting legacy to honour the monarch.

The “diamond woods” will each be at least 60 acres, more than one-and-a-half times the size of the grounds at Buckingham Palace.

A range of landowners is supporting the scheme, including local authorities, universities and businesses, as well as the Royal Marines.

The Queen is also joining in, with a wood being planted at her Balmoral home.

Trees for Life, a charity dedicated to restoring native Caledonian woodland in the Scottish Highlands, will establish one of the biggest diamond woods at its Dundreggan estate, near Loch Ness.

A flagship Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood is being created in the National Forest in Leicestershire.

More than 250 smaller Jubilee Woods and 25 Princess Woods – to recognise the years before the Queen’s coronation – will also be created as part of an effort to plant six million trees in 2012.

Project director Georgina McLeod said: “They will help make a massive difference to the environment and pay a special tribute to Her Majesty the Queen.

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“By the end of the project, millions of people will have planted trees, a testament to the nation’s love for trees and our second-longest reigning monarch.”

Woodland Trust Scotland director Carol Evans said: “We’re delighted that Scotland is playing such a big part in the Jubilee Woods project. Each of the 20 woods in Scotland has a special character and they take in an amazing range of settings, from wild places such as Corrour to urban areas like Cumbernauld.”

Of the six million trees to be planted, at least one million of them will be planted by children.

Schools and communities can still apply for free tree packs to plant, while individuals can take part by planting a tree in their gardens or by donating money to plant the trees.

Everyone taking part will be listed in the new royal record of tree planting which will be presented to the Queen at the end of the project.

Meanwhile, hundreds of special events are taking place across the country to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

On Monday, there will be a lighting of a beacons throughout the UK.

One of the Scottish events will happen on the peak of Ben Nevis in aid of Help for Heroes.

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Former RAF medic Dianne McLeish, from Moray, will be part of a team, many including wounded soldiers, climbing to the 1334-metre summit of Britain’s tallest mountain.