Charles urges viewers to leave ‘lasting legacy’ through Countryfile campaign

The BBC One programme hopes to plant 750,000 trees in two years.
The BBC One programme hopes to plant 750,000 trees in two years. The BBC One programme hopes to plant 750,000 trees in two years.

The Prince of Wales has thrown his support behind a Countryfile campaign to plant 750,000 trees in an effort to tackle climate change.

He is joined by stars including actress Dame Judi Dench, Queen guitarist Brian May and model Twiggy in backing the BBC One programme’s two-year initiative, called Plant Britain.

Viewers will be encouraged to help grow trees at various sites across the UK – one for each child starting primary school this year.

Clarence House tweeted: “Did you know that after HRH plants a tree, he often gives a branch a friendly shake to wish it well?”

In Sunday’s special launch episode, Charles says: “Planting a tree means leaving a lasting legacy, one that my and your children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy long after I am gone.

“I know that so many people during this terribly difficult year have had their appreciation of trees and other green spaces around them deepened, and therefore it is our duty, given how long it takes for a tree to mature, to plant trees now for future generations to enjoy and for the immense benefits, particularly in towns and cities, from their shade, in an ever more overheated climate.

“There are so many opportunities for us all to plant more trees, to protect green spaces.

“As someone with a passion for planting trees, I can only encourage you all to get planting for Plant Britain.”

The episode will see the first saplings planted in a new Countryfile wood, created in association with the National Trust, which will be open to the public.

During its initial two years, Countryfile will catch up with the Plant Britain initiative through spring and autumn specials focused on seasonal planting, as well as summer and winter updates.

Presenter Matt Baker in the Countryfile wood (BBC/PA)

An online interactive map will allow viewers to log their planting and see the results of the project as it evolves.

Countryfile will also be sharing information about other types of plants which can be planted in different locations.

Dame Judi said of the project: “During lockdown I was sent an acorn. This is something you don’t have to have a garden to receive.

Coronavirus – Sun Nov 22, 2020
Coronavirus – Sun Nov 22, 2020 Dame Judi Dench is backing the Plant Britain campaign (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“I put it in a vase in water and this is my oak tree already, and that wasn’t many weeks ago. So, even if you don’t have a garden, you can do that.

“We all know that planting trees is vitally important – do try if you can. It’s very, very worthwhile.”

Musician and environmental activist May said: “There’s an old saying that the best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago, but the next best time is today.

“We can all do something to help this beautiful country of ours. This green and pleasant land has been losing its greenery for far too long.

“We can all do our bit. We all need to get into this. Plant, plant, plant, whatever you can.”

Queen and Adam Lambert: Live Around The World
Queen and Adam Lambert: Live Around The World Brian May said ‘We can all do our bit’ (Ian West/PA)

Twiggy, real name Lesley Lawson, who was made a dame last year, said: “I think we have all become very aware, this year in particular, how important nature is for everyone. It has certainly been for my sanity.

“That’s why I’m very happy to support this Plant Britain campaign, and I for one am going to be planting some trees and some bushes and some flowers.

“It will be good for you, and good for the planet, and very importantly, good for our grandchildren. So, get planting, everyone, for Plant Britain.”

– Plant Britain launches on Countryfile on Sunday November 29 at 6.15pm on BBC One.