Royal trees planted to celebrate Queen’s 70-year reign
Volunteers helped plant 70 trees in the grounds of Government House at the weekend to celebrate the Queen’s platinum anniversary as monarch next year.
The scheme was the brainchild of the Bermuda Botanical Society.
Jennifer Flood, the president of the Bermuda Botanical Society, said she came up with the idea after learning of the Queen’s ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ campaign.
She said: “I thought this was a great excuse to plant trees throughout the coming year and felt the '70 for 70’ was a good catchphrase.
“I had thought kicking off the campaign with the planting of perhaps three cedars at Government House would be appropriate.
“Jacob Hawkins, the Governor’s husband, had other ideas – the creation of a native and endemic woodland on land previously covered with invasives become the goal.”
Mr Hawkins said: “Our family were delighted to join with volunteers from across the island, inspired by conservationists such as David Wingate who kindly attended, to plant these trees which we hope will grow into an example of best practice in native and endemic planting for Bermuda.
“I’d like to especially thank the Bermuda Botanical Society and Government of Bermuda Parks Department for their support.”
The Queen was crowned in 1952 and will have reigned the throne for 70 years in 2022.
The trees, planted on Saturday, were donated by members of the public, the Bermuda Botanical Society, the Tulo Valley Government Nursery, CedarBridge Academy, Warwick Academy and the Garden Club of Bermuda.
Jan MacDonald, the president of the Garden Club of Bermuda, said the organisation looked forward to “supporting the Bermuda Botanical Society with its 70 for 70 initiative and looks forward to a year of planting at a variety of locations, using these occasions to raise awareness of the importance of plants and trees, especially in their relationship to human health, environmental health and climate change.”
The programme was also backed by environmentalist David Wingate, who said Government House was an ideal location.
He said: “I think it’s fabulous. The grounds are the perfect place for this celebratory planting, and ideal to demonstrate how it is done. It is a wonderful training exercise to learn how to plant a tree properly.”
Dr Wingate also highlighted a major part of the challenge – the return of land to native and endemic forest that had been overrun by invasive species such as Brazil pepper and Chinese fan palms.
He said: “A major part of a reforestation is the clearing of these invasives.
“They grow out of control so there is no room for the natives and endemics.”