Claires Court Jubilee Tree Canopy project

In order to celebrate two major Jubilees this academic year, the Principals confirm their intention to create a woodland tree canopy and wildlife corridor across its fields at Claires Court Junior Boys by Maidenhead Thicket. The new canopy will be aligned north to south, creating a wildlife corridor between Maidenhead Thicket and its southern boundary with the green way that links Firs Lane and Woolley Firs Environmental Centre on Cherry Garden Lane.  

The first Jubilee is of course the one we missed during last year’s school closures, that  being the school’s Diamond Jubilee to celebrate the 60 years that have passed since the school first opened in September 1960. 

The second Jubilee has been created nationally to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the United Kingdom to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’. To be known as “The Queen’s Green Canopy” (QGC), it is a unique tree planting initiative, with a focus on planting sustainably, the QGC will encourage planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations. 

Location of the new canopy 

The photograph looking west of Claires Court Fields shows the lovely row of Scots pines that already make one half of such a corridor, though after the 100 or so years the trees have been planted, they are showing their age and gaps are appearing. The new trees will be planted 10m to the west of this line, accompanied by native hedgerow plants to link the larger canopy trees together.  The gap between the two will be kept mown and the trees cared for to encourage that sense of a well-tended landscape for the deers, badgers and other wildlife that traverse our land. 

How families can help

So…we are seeking 100 Claires Court families to choose to provide one of the larger 100 trees needed to create the main canopy corridor and to be identified in time with a family plaque on the tree, provided by QGC.  We have chosen our local nursery, Stubbings, to provide both the trees as well as tree planting kits to ensure the planting is a great success.  Stubbings Nursery will provide each family who purchases a tree the support structure to ensure it thrives which includes the stake and ties plus an environmentally friendly tree protector. The total cost per family will be £69.99. As a certified nursery, Stubbings will ensure that your tree is healthy and that it has been grown in the UK.  

Furthermore, for each tree sold, one tree will be planted in the Amazon through Stubbings’ relationship with the charity ‘One Tree Planted’, www.onetreeplanted.org 

The school will identify the ‘spot’ to plant the tree and provide the bark mulch and fertiliser, plus an additional 14 smaller hedgerow tree whips provided free of charge by Carbon Footprint…we are delighted to have their support.  This in turn will create a double width hedge of 7m length to join to the next feature tree in the canopy.  The hedgerow will be a mix of Crab Apple, Dog Rose, Dogwood, Gorse, Hawthorn, Hazel and Rowan,  providing vital resources for mammals, birds, and insect species. As well as being an important habitat in their own right, hedges act as wildlife corridors allowing dispersal between isolated habitats.  The school is incurring additional costs in this project, and we are delighted to have the support of the Trustees of the PTA foundation in our endeavour.

Purchasing details and timescales 

These plants are arriving in early November, so we wish to work with families to ensure they can plant their tree during this month, and participate in the set up of the hedge.   We don’t expect the planting itself to take too long, circa 30 minutes, and at its close, the family will have planted their major tree along with 7m of hedge which will be one metre apart in a double row – in short,one large tree and 14 whips. 

We will record the precise planting of the canopy tree and adjacent hedge on our map of the school site, and once provided with your photo, upload it onto the Queen’s Green Canopy website and assist you in securing the QGC plaque when available. 

How to get involved

There are just 100 trees available for 100 Claires Court families and we’d like to encourage you to show your interest by completing this form here which will also be promoted at our PTA Fireworks event this Saturday and through our weekly bulletin.   To ensure we plant in November before the ground is too hard, we aim to close the books by the start of half-term (18 October).  For those who have filled in the form to show interest, we will then be in touch via email with details on how to purchase directly online.  The trees available are English Oak, Field Maple, Beech, Hornbeam, Lime and London Plane which will be offered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis as we have a limited supply of each .

We look forward to enhancing the local environment with this wonderful canopy, providing a legacy for the landscape for years to come.  

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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