Green-fingered students and staff came together to plant 400 saplings at the University’s Canterbury Campus, celebrating both the institution’s Diamond Jubilee and Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Marking 60 years of education at Canterbury Christ Church and the Queen’s historic 70-year reign, the hedgerow planted at the University’s new £65m Verena Holmes Building, aims to enhance the environment for wildlife, improve biodiversity and make a substantial contribution to ecology on the North Holmes Road site.

The saplings planted are native to the region and include Hawthorn, Rowan, Silver Birch, Hazel and the English Oak.

The Queen’s Green Canopy event, part of the year-long celebrations, took place on Wednesday 23 March and is a UK-wide initiative.

The Canterbury Christ Church city campus is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – bringing together the grounds of the ancient St Augustine’s Abbey, within sight of Canterbury Cathedral and St Martin’s Church. The hedge has been planted on an ancient lay line that links the sites.

Dr Peter Rands, Director of Sustainability Development at Canterbury Christ Church, explained the importance of the event.

Unsustainable behaviours and processes cannot drive positive change. We need to collectively do our best for a sustainable future for us all. “There are a number of opportunities for staff, students and the wider community to join in and show their support. We are at the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and our future is just as important as our history.

Dr Peter Rands Director of Sustainability Development at Canterbury Christ Church University

The Queen’s Canopy planting is part of the University’s Wilder Campus campaign, which includes a new Jubilee Garden on the Canterbury Campus, as well as an International Forest, which will be planted by the University’s international students at Stodmarsh sports fields.

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