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Thursday, 4th October 2012

Burton upon Trent; Tuesday 9 October 2012: The Duke of Cambridge will plant the 8 millionth tree in The National Forest, as a pin oak will be planted in the grounds of St. George’s Park, The FA’s new national football centre.

The National Forest is the largest environmentally-led regeneration project in the country. It spans parts of the three counties of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Since the early 1990s, thousands of native broadleaf trees – predominantly oak, ash and birch – have been planted each year with farmers, charities, local councils, schools, businesses and individuals throughout the 200 square miles of the Forest.

The National Forest has always been about much more than the trees. Planting trees and creating woodlands can help regenerate communities, create work through tourism and woodland management, improve wildlife habitats, and indeed, human habitats, by providing opportunities for leisure and recreation: where people can walk, cycle, picnic, watch the birds. Trees are essential for our mental and physical well-being.

More than 400 new woodlands have been created or brought back into management since the start of The National Forest, and the land made publicly accessible, where previously people could not walk or enjoy the outdoors, has increased threefold.

Previous ‘millionth’ tree planters have included Jonathon Porritt and John and Irene Cox of Nottingham, a local couple who celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in 2006 and were invited to plant the 7 millionth tree in the same year.

Catherine Graham-Harrison, Chair of the National Forest Company, said:   “The National Forest Company is delighted and grateful that the Duke of Cambridge is planting such a significant tree in the development of The National Forest, in such an auspicious setting, and on a remarkable occasion – the opening of a national landmark for one of our best loved sports. 

“Ours is a robust forest with plenty of room for kicking a football around – these trees are pretty sturdy!  We hope all the guests at the new national football centre will enjoy the magnificent trees in this beautiful park, a gem in the midst of this burgeoning Forest.”

The planting of the tree at St. George’s Park is significant as it is in line with the 20 year Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) which is being implemented at the site. The action plan has been prepared in consultation with the National Forest Company to provide a framework so that the site can be managed to maintain and promote biodiversity without compromising the primary function of the national football centre.

St. George’s Park is implementing a full environmental management system across the site to ensure that continual environmental improvements are achieved in all key areas at the site in line with the Environmental Policy.