Mike Gapes joined over 500 other MPs to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a network of forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. 


The trees – two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel –will be planted by Mike with the South Park Users Group in South Park, Ilford, on Friday 2 November 2018. 


They were donated to Mike thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV, which in April screened a landmark documentary, The Queen’s Green Planet, following Her Majesty the Queen and this ambitious legacy project which brings together her deeply held commitment to the Commonwealth and her little-known love of trees.  


At the heart of the film was a conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough filmed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace last summer.  In a rare opportunity to see the Queen talking informally to Sir David, the conversation ranged from climate change, to conkers and of course trees, and was watched by 6.4 million viewers, making it ITV’s most watched factual programme of the year. 


In support of the programme the Woodland Trust provided 50,000 trees for ITV viewers and also offered a special commemorative pack to every MP in the UK. 


Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, said:

 “I am delighted to support this very imaginative and important project, and am pleased that the South Park Users Group have organised this planting in one of the best small parks in Redbridge. I know that the residents of Ilford South will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.” 


Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said: 

“As the Woodland Trust’s largest corporate partner, we’re committed to raising awareness of the importance of the UK’s woods and trees, and contributing to their conservation.” 

About The Woodland Trust 

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife. 

The Trust has three key aims:  i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable, ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life, iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife. 

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 22,500 hectares. Access to its woods is free. 

About The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy  

The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) is a unique network of forest conservation projects which unites the Commonwealth family of nations to save one of the world’s most important natural habitats. Established in the name of Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth, this initiative is committed to raising awareness of the value of established indigenous forests, and saving them for future generations, as well as planting new forest. 




About Sainsbury’s 

Sainsbury’s has supported the Woodland Trust since 2004 with the launch of free range Woodland eggs.  Since then donations through product sales have expanded to chicken, turkey, apples and honey. 

The partnership has helped the Woodland Trust to plant three million trees, including establishing a special Sainsbury’s Wood at The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood in Leicestershire. 

The partnership has also enabled the Woodland Trust to provide support and advice to Sainsbury’s on tree planting and maintenance to deliver to their farmers across the UK. Most recently, Sainsbury’s is supporting the Woodland Trust’s First World War Centenary Woods project. 

About the South Park Users Group 

Is a group of residents working with Redbridge Council to ensure South Park is a safe and secure place for leisure. Supporters may join for a fee of £2.00. For more details telephone Chris Stone, Secretary on 020 8599 9623.

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