Verderers refuse tree planting plan in Burley for Queen's platinum jubilee
A PLAN by a New Forest village to plant a dozen trees to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee in the summer has been scuppered by the verderers.
Members of Burley Parish Council had wanted to join in the Green Canopy scheme which urges people to “plant a tree for the jubilee”.
But their hopes to dig in 12 oaks on behalf of the community have been shrunk to just one under the verderers’ policy against adding trees to the open Forest, in order to protect grazing.
Cllr Philip Daubeney, chair of the parish council, said Burley had wanted to do its bit by planting on land adjacent to Cotts Lane, near the golf course.
He told the A&T: “Ten trees were planted on that site for the Queen’s silver jubilee, and we thought it would be nice to honour her by planting trees again.
“We asked for permission from the verderers to plant a dozen, but they say we are only allowed to plant one because the livestock need as much grazing as possible.”
Cllr Daubeney said the council were “extremely disappointed” by the refusal, adding: “It was an express wish by the Queen that people should celebrate her jubilee in this way.
“I realise it is important the livestock have grazing but it is equally important that we try as a community to be as eco-sustainable as possible by planting trees to absorb carbon, help with climate change and provide wildlife habitats.”
In the minutes of the verderers’ meeting in January, the court said it had given the application “very careful consideration”.
But it felt it had to be refused in order to “preserve the grazing and vegetation which is vital for the stock and delivers other ecological benefits”.
It said it expected other requests will be made, similar to Burley Parish Council’s.
But it was decided by the Verderers’ Court to allow the planting of only one native tree in woodland to commemorate the jubilee “if there is no other suitable location on parish or private land”.
Cllr Robert Clarke, a former tree warden in Richmond, Surrey, takes special responsibility for Burley Parish Council’s policy around trees in the village.
He is now planning to address the verderers at their next meeting on 16th March to ask them to change their mind.
He said: “This is not just a gesture for the jubilee, we are losing a lot of veteran trees in Burley and there is a need to replace them.
“There is a very strong feeling in the village that we should be doing our bit to help the environment by planting more trees, and the Queen herself is keen to see this.
“It is an entirely appropriate way to mark the platinum jubilee.”