04/10/2021   The Queen’s Green Canopy

On Monday 4th October 2021, the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Toby Dennis, planted a birch tree at the front of Bishop King Primary School as part of the celebrations for 70 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II in February 2022.

The Lord Lieutenant was accompanied by Cllr Jackie Kirk, Mayor of Lincoln, and Cllr Ron Oxyby, the Chairman of Lincolnshire County Council. The visitors. were welcomed by headteacher, Hazel Wheatley, governors, staff and pupils. After collective worship and presentations by pupils in the hall, the group moved outside with members of the School Council for the planting ceremony. There were short speeches about the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), heritage and the tree itself, a Emani birch. The tree was then blessed by Governor Reverend Jayson Rhodes and the National Anthem was played by members of the Salvation Army band.

The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”. Bishop King was delighted to be chosen as the representative of all Lincolnshire schools. The location is perfect not only because this slim tree lines up with the flagpole and Lincoln Cathedral, but also because it can be seen by pedestrians approaching along Kingsway and the St Andrew’s Street/Scorer Street junction through Sincil Bank.

Speaking on behalf of the school Governor, Chris Williams, commented, “not only will the tree provide a reminder of the reign of the Queen, but an important landmark for the wider community.

Our Emani birch is already about 12 feet high and this coming spring it may produce its first browny-yellow catkins, and later beautiful creamy-white peeling bark. It is the centre-piece of a new area at the front of the school, until recently the site of two ageing mobile classrooms which were in fact condemned by the City Council. This provides Bishop King School with a great opportunity in a part of Lincoln which lacks open green space.”

He also noted that “there are a number of greening projects in the Sincil Bank area. In late September the Sincil Community Land Trust were runners-up in the Lincolnshire Environmental Awards, notably for its work in St.Andrew’s Garden. Other groups are working along Sincil Drain and at St Peter at Gowts church. Several more small project areas have been identified. Every little bit counts”.

Mr Williams concluded by highlighting that “we are in a global crisis, not only the pandemic which has impacted health and well-being very seriously, but also the impact of climate change. There are many solutions for these challenges. One is to plant more trees to remove CO2, for wildlife and for their beauty in making us feel better. The Queen’s Green Canopy will make an important contribution. For Bishop King School this is the right tree in the right place at the right time”.