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20 June 2012
Trees for the Jubilee — celebrating Nottinghamshire’s Diamond Wood

The street parties might be over, but work is just beginning on a permanent Jubilee legacy stretching the length and breadth of the UK.

Trees

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Woodland Trust is helping millions of people to plant six million trees across the UK. This will include 60 special ‘Diamond Woods’ — one for every year of the Queen’s reign — new areas of native woodland for people to enjoy for generations to come.

Nottinghamshire is to be part of this permanent celebration after being granted a Diamond Wood on University of Nottingham land in the south of the county, near the University’s Sutton Bonington Campus.

Planting of up to 40,000 trees at the Sutton Bonington site is expected to start in October this year, continuing until February 2013. The University hopes to involve the local community, schools, former students and other interested groups in the planting, development and enjoyment of the Diamond Wood, in this Jubilee year and in the future.

Visitors will be welcome

Like its counterparts across the country, Nottinghamshire’s Diamond Wood will be 60 acres in size. The University hopes to incorporate footpaths, activities and open spaces at the site for visitors to use and enjoy.

Professor Karen Cox, the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “We are naturally delighted by the news that our submission has been accepted as one of the Diamond Wood locations. It will give us a tremendous opportunity for community engagement through the planting of the wood as well as on an ongoing basis as the woodland matures.

“Our aim is to design the woodland as an educational resource demonstrating biodiversity and sustainability in woodland practice which will provide education, enjoyment and interest to future generations.”

The Woodland Trust has worked with a diverse range of landowners from across the UK to create the Diamond Woods, from universities such as Nottingham, local authorities, public bodies including British Waterways and the Ministry of Defence, through to developers and private landowners.

Spanning the UK from Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides to Truro at the tip of Cornwall, these 60 woods have all been committed to transforming the UK's landscape and local environments as part of the Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project. Even The Queen herself is creating a Diamond Wood, at Balmoral.

A rich habitat

The new native woodlands created will provide a rich habitat for wildlife and living, breathing spaces for people to enjoy for generations to come.

The Diamond Wood at Sutton Bonington is the only one in Nottinghamshire. It will be located on two sites close together by the River Soar, linked by a footpath.

Martin Suthers, Deputy Leader at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Warm congratulations to The University of Nottingham for its successful bid to be able to plant one of 60 Diamond Woods.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for the county to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a special and unique way and to lay down an environmental legacy for future generations to enjoy. The County Council is excited about the prospect of getting actively involved in community engagement at a very local level with this project with the University, the Woodland Trust and other organisations and communities as part of the wider project team.”

Focusing on sustainability

Sustainability is a key strand of the University’s fundraising appeal, Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, which is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. The University is ideally positioned — scientifically, geographically and politically — to make a significant contribution to sustainability. More information about Impact is available at: http://tiny.cc/UoNImpact

The University embeds sustainability in everything it does, from the way new buildings are constructed to the way energy is generated and used on campus. As an institution it is committed to a 34 per cent absolute reduction in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2020, from its 2005/6 baseline.

The University’s Carbon Management Plan has seen more than £1.5m invested in 71 carbon reduction projects in its first year. Key developments include:

• Roof insulation put into 15 buildings, cavity wall insulation in a further 11; installation of large-scale solar PV arrays on the roofs of two halls and solar thermal panels on a third
• Student engagement activity which has resulted in an eight per cent reduction in electricity use across halls of residence
• 96 per cent of the University’s 10,000 PCs brought onto the PowerMan system, switching them to a low-power mode after a period of inactivity and saving 600 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Other sustainability programmes have been developed including:

• New buildings on campus designed to meet BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘Excellent’ rating
• £800,000 invested in cycle facilities, including new cycle lanes, parking, storage and a cycle hire scheme for students
• A University-wide teaching and learning Grand Challenge to embed sustainability into the curriculum.

The 2012 Greenmetric league table, which surveyed the green credentials of universities in more than 40 countries, ranked Nottingham as the most sustainable university in the world.

Six million trees

The Woodland Trust’s aim is to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with the planting of six million trees across the nation, forming a lasting legacy to celebrate her Majesty’s reign and helping towards the goal of doubling native woodland cover in the UK.

The UK is currently one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with just 13 per cent cover compared to the European average of 44 per cent.

Georgina McLeod, the Woodland Trust’s head of Jubilee Woods, said: “We are absolutely delighted that The University of Nottingham has chosen to create a prestigious Diamond Wood. We very much hope that this inspires other landowners and communities to join us in paying a very special tribute to The Queen, while at the same time creating something living and lasting to hand on to future generations.

“Not only is this a chance to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but it’s also a chance for people to improve their local environment and create somewhere for residents to enjoy and be part of. In just 10 years the trees will be taller than the average person and the woodland will be full of wildlife for many people to enjoy.”


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