County Council secures £100,000 to plant mini-forests and community orchards in Coronation tribute

Thousands more trees are set to be planted across Hampshire as a permanent reminder of His Majesty King Charles III’s Coronation following a successful bid by the County Council for £100,000 from a national funding pot to mark the historic occasion

Nov 24 2023

This comes as pupils from Trosnant Infant and Junior School in Havant have planted the first Coronation-inspired ‘mini-forest’ to celebrate National Tree Week (25 November – 3 December). 
Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, the County Council’s Cabinet Lead for Countryside, said: “It’s fantastic news that the County Council’s Hampshire Forest Partnership has successfully secured funds to support our tree planting ambitions. The extra money will help our communities to cultivate long-lasting, leafy tributes to his Majesty’s Coronation in the form of miniature-woodlands and orchards. 
“A huge thank you to green-fingered pupils from Trosnant Infant and Junior School in Havant for enabling the first mini-forest to take root using this special grant money. The children have worked with our team and local volunteers to transform an underused space in the school grounds. The aim is to create an amazing outdoor classroom and play area. This is all part of our goal to work with residents and other organisations to plant one million trees by 2050 in urban and rural locations. Trees are one of the most effective ways to combat the climate emergency and restore wildlife habitats, as well as boosting health and wellbeing.”
The national grant has been awarded from the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund via Defra’s Coronation Living Heritage Fund. The County Council has secured a £50,000 award for the establishment of Coronation micro-woods in urban areas – this applies techniques that enable dense woodlands, usually the size of a tennis court, to grow up to ten times faster than normal. Another £50,000 grant is available for Coronation Community Orchards. Groups or communities interested in planting a mini forest or orchard can contact the Hampshire Forest Partnership via its website. The Forest Partnership’s Coronation fund is open for projects that can be planted by March 2025.
Trosnant Infant and Junior School pupils are being joined by volunteers from Havant Borough Tree Wardens to plant a total of around 1,000 trees including oak, field maple, wild cherry, whitebeam, guelder rose, black poplar, crab apple, hazel, rowan, elder, dogwood, blackthorn, dog rose, goat willow, and hawthorn. This is the Hampshire Forest Partnership’s first mini-forest in a Hampshire school and the third mini-forest in the county, with the others planted in Sheet near Petersfield and Hedge End near Southampton.