The Duke of Cambridge today planted the eight millionth tree in the National Forest.
FA President Prince William placed a pin oak at The Football Association’s new national football centre on the day of its official opening.
The National Forest is the largest environmentally-led regeneration project in the country, spanning the three counties of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
Since the early 1990s, thousands of native broadleaf trees – predominantly oak, ash and birch – have been planted each year with farmers, charities, local councils, schools, businesses and individuals throughout the 200 square miles of the Forest.
But the National Forest has always been about much more than the trees.
Planting trees and creating woodlands can help regenerate communities, create work through tourism and woodland management, improve wildlife habitats, and indeed, human habitats, by providing opportunities for leisure and recreation.
We can walk, cycle, go bird watching, have a picnic – trees are essential to our mental and physical well-being.
Previous ‘millionth’ tree planters have included Jonathon Porritt and John and Irene Cox of Nottingham, a local couple who celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in 2006, and were invited to plant the seven millionth tree.
Catherine Graham-Harrison, Chair of the National Forest Company, said: “The National Forest Company is delighted and grateful that the Duke of Cambridge is planting such a significant tree in the development of the National Forest, in such an auspicious setting, and on a remarkable occasion – the opening of a national landmark for one of our best loved sports.
“Ours is a robust forest with plenty of room for kicking a football around – these trees are pretty sturdy! We hope all the guests at the new national football centre will enjoy the magnificent trees in this beautiful park, a gem in the midst of this burgeoning Forest.”
The planting of the tree at St. George’s Park is significant as it is in line with the 20-year Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) which is being implemented at the site.
The action plan has been prepared in consultation with the National Forest Company to provide a framework so that the site can be managed to maintain and promote biodiversity without compromising the primary function of the national football centre.
St. George’s Park is implementing a full environmental management system across the site to ensure that continual environmental improvements are achieved in all key areas at the site in line with the Environmental Policy.
Visit www.TheFA.com/sgp for all the latest on the new centre.