Leicester stalwart Gary Lineker is backing an initiative which has recognised his home city for planting trees to help maintain its green spaces.
The former England and Leicester City striker said he was “proud” the city had been honoured by the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), a project celebrating the Queen’s platinum jubilee by encouraging the public to plant a tree, and awarded “Champion” status.
With plans to plant more than 7,500 trees in the coming months, Leicester is being celebrated for its commitment to maintaining and replenishing its 153,000 trees and 109 hectares of woodland set out in its tree strategy.
Lineker, known as one of Leicester’s favourite sons, added: “I am blue to the core but delighted Leicester is going green this weekend, and proud that the city has been recognised by the Queen’s Green Canopy and awarded ‘champion’ status.
“Growing up in Leicester, and then playing for the club I love, I was always struck by the real sense of community and I know people will respond to this wonderful initiative, and get stuck in to the task of planting trees and helping preserve our environment.”
The Match Of The Day host added: “The environmental debate has never been more important and we can all do our bit.
“I want to send my support and best wishes to everyone involved.”
To bring National Tree Week to a close, a trio of Jubilee trees, chosen for their red, white and blue foliage, will be planted for the QGC at a community event to celebrate Leicester as a QGC “Champion City” on Sunday.
The trio of trees, a red-leafed acer, a white poplar and a blue-leafed eucalyptus, will be planted during a family event in Abbey Park hosted by Leicester City Council where 1,000 trees will be given away to encourage people to “plant a tree for the Jubilee”.
Saplings are finding new homes across the UK to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign, a milestone which will be reached in February next year.
Under the QGC project the public were encouraged to begin tree planting on October 1, when the tree-planting season began, through to March 2022, and it will start again in October until the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.
Councillor Piara Singh Clair, deputy city mayor responsible for parks, said: “In around 20 years’ time, when these three trees will be semi-mature, we hope that their canopies will merge to create a vision of red, white and blue.
“I would encourage everyone in the city to join in with the project by planting a tree in their garden, growing an oak from an acorn in a flower pot, or planting trees at their schools or place of work.”
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