With 22 million trees, it has long been said that Milton Keynes could officially be classified as a forest, and now 500 trees are being planted in celebration of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including a new Community Orchard on a historic city centre site.
The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative asks people around the UK to ‘plant a tree for the Jubilee’ to create a living, green legacy.
Milton Keynes Council has committed to planting 500 trees in celebration of The Queen’s 70 years of service, many in partnership with parish councils to make sure they are positioned to best effect.
For the new Community Orchard, the Council is working with local volunteers to help plant fruit trees including apple, pear, plum and cherry on the ancient Secklow Mound on North Row in Central Milton Keynes.
The flattened mound was once an important meeting point for Anglo Saxons to organise land and discuss other legal matters. It will now become a community fruit orchard that the Council hopes will become a place of calm and natural beauty for local people.
Dozens of trees have already been temporarily planted at Station Square as part of The Modernist Glade public art project, alongside The Mushroom Pavilion - home to a free programme of workshops and family activities.
The Council will be replacing some trees in poor health on Central MK’s boulevards.
Trees benefit the environment enormously, producing oxygen, improving air quality, and creating habitats for wildlife. Studies have also shown being around trees can lower a person’s blood pressure and decrease stress levels.
Cllr Lauren Townsend, Cabinet Member for the Public Realm said “We know local people love and value MK’s trees and green spaces, and we’re delighted to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee by planting 500 trees in Milton Keynes. It’s also part of our vital work to plant trees as both a symbolic and practical step towards tackling climate change for future generations.”