Army helping out in spades to promote the Queen’s Green Canopy

The Army is digging in to support the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC). Under the banner headline of “Plant a tree for the Jubilee”, the scheme invites individuals, youth organisations, villages, towns, companies, in fact anyone and everyone to plant a tree to commemorate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. 

As well as inviting the planting of new trees, the QGC will dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.

Commanding Officers across the whole of the Army are being encouraged to participate and funding being made available towards the purchase of saplings, and larger individual trees, and in some cases small woodlands. Monies can be applied for through the Local Infrastructure Improvement Fund (LIIF) which will be uplifted if needed.

“It was a very interesting thing to do and great to do it alongside the cadets and our industry partners a really collaborative endeavour and we’re all so pleased to be improving our environment.” Major General David Eastman MBE, General Officer Commanding Regional Command

With the support of the Army’s Project Allenby Connaught industry partner, the garrisons of Aldershot, Bulford, Tidworth and Warminster will see a total of around 540 saplings and trees planted across their area.

A planting ceremony was held at Montgomery House in Aldershot, the Headquarters of both Home and Regional Command. The Commander Home Command, Lieutenant General Ian Cave CB and the General Officer Commanding Regional Command, Major General David Eastman MBE were joined by the Chief Executive of Aspire Defence Ltd. Mr Allan Thomson and two Cadets from nearby Ash Manor Combined Cadet Force, Zubi Ahmed and James Blair. The five helped to plant three signature oak trees in the grounds of Montgomery House that forms the centre piece of a copse to resemble a clockface.

The two cadets from Ash Manor School were there representing the Army Cadets who are set to plant 68,000 trees across the Reserve Forces and Cadets’ Association estate; it will mark one tree for each of the UK’s Army Cadets.

Speaking after the tree planting, Major General David Eastman said, “It was a very interesting thing to do and great to do it alongside the cadets and our industry partners a really collaborative endeavour and we’re all so pleased to be improving our environment.”

“All of this is part of our broader sustainability agenda supporting the Government’s net carbon zero for 2050, increasing our water efficiency by 50% and planting up to three percent more trees across all of our estate.” Major General David Eastman MBE, General Officer Commanding Regional Command

The support to the QGC blends in perfectly with the Army’s policy of reducing its carbon footprint and implementing more efficient and green initiatives. The General went on to say.

“All of this is part of our broader sustainability agenda supporting the Government’s net carbon zero for 2050, increasing our water efficiency by 50% and planting up to three percent more trees across all of our estate.”

In addition to the trees being planted under the QGC scheme, an additional 850 hectares of trees are being planted with land being set aside to support the national pollinator strategy. Peatlands are being restored and as mentioned by Major General Eastman, the total acreage of woodlands is to increase by three percent from 11 to 14% by 2030.

The pool of white fleet vehicles (non-tactical everyday road cars and vans etc) are to go electric by 2027 and the necessary infrastructure is being installed over the next two to three years.

Under a pilot, Project Taurus, the aim is for soldiers to be able to charge their own electric vehicles from charging points that are fed from solar powered photovoltaic cells; should this pilot prove successful, the Army plans to roll it out across more of its estate. Larger sites with sufficient land capacity are being considered for the installation of solar farms under another project called Prometheus with some sites being looked at for wind turbines.