Spades at the ready as planting begins at Sutton Bonington's Diamond Wood

26 Nov 2012 15:23:30.627

Sixty years on the throne is no mean feat and that’s why The University of Nottingham is teaming up with the Woodland Trust to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a way that will quite literally grow and grow.

A special Diamond Wood is being planted for each year of the Queen’s reign, including at a site by the University’s Sutton Bonington Campus between Nottingham and Loughborough.

Planting begins this week and the University is issuing an open invitation to anyone who wants to help on Saturday 1 December from 11am-1pm.

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Get your hands dirty

Professor Karen Cox, the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “It was a huge privilege for the University to be selected and so closely involved with this special project. Now that all the preparations have been completed, it is exciting that the tree planting is beginning at Sutton Bonington.

“We hope that it proves to be a fantastic day out for all that go along to get their hands dirty. In the days, years and decades to follow, we hope that the wood will be a great resource for the University and local community in terms of both public engagement — as the planting day shows — and as an educational resource.”

Benefits of increased woodland

The Woodland Trust, as the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, is championing the project due to all of the benefits that the Diamond Woods will bring. It is also organising tree planting sessions with local school children throughout the week.

Georgina McLeod, director of Jubilee Woods at the Woodland Trust, said: “Not only is this a chance to celebrate the Queen’s reign, it’s also a chance for communities to come together and, of course, tree planting is great fun for kids!

“More trees mean cleaner air, better water quality, more homes for wildlife and more green spaces to visit, play in and pass on for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”

VIP planting

Professor David Greenaway, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, will be there to unveil two plaques — one from the Woodland Trust and one from the University — as well as planting a tree of his own.

He will be joined by Dr Ron Haylock, Ambassador for the Woodland Trust, Stuart Holm, Woodland Creation Advisor, and Julian Wiseman, Head of the Sutton Bonington Alumni Association.

Sustainable resource for everyone to enjoy

Sharon Clancy, Head of Community Partnerships at the University, said: “The site is going to be an on-going, sustainable resource for the people of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire — not just the Sutton Bonington area.

“It has already been suggested that there may be further events and activity organised down the line, so that people can see the results of the planting and remain involved in the project — the planting day is definitely not being seen as a ‘one off’.”

Ms Clancy first visited the chosen site earlier in the year and is looking forward to watching the wood establish and mature.

She said: “I was genuinely knocked out by the site. It is a huge area — panoramic views, very beautiful, odd trees dotted about. It looks like some rural idyll! It seems like a great choice as people will want to come to it.”

Further information

The site is a short walk from the University’s Sutton Bonington Campus and there will be free refreshments available. There is also a student tree planting day on Wednesday 28 November and school sessions about how to be a tree detective, how characters from history used to hide in forests and the Forest Charter or 1217.

More information:

Anyone unable to attend on the day can still apply for a free tree pack from the Woodland Trust. Orders are being taken now for delivery in the spring. People can apply for either 105 or 420 trees and schools can apply for packs of 60 trees. Find out more on the Woodland Trust website.  

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The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Sharon Clancy, Head of Community Partnerships at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 646 6442,

Fraser Wilson - Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 6691 Location: University Park

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