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Stansted Airport staff add 1,600 new trees to Queen's Green Canopy





Stansted Airport's managing director, Gareth Powell, has planted an English alder tree to celebrate the Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) initiative.

The nationwide scheme was launched to mark the late Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee last year and aims to create a living legacy.

The airport's contribution to the project was completed by Mr Powell's planting of the final tree near Stansted Airport College with the help of airport environmental specialist Sam Lomax and Daniel Burford, the community engagement manager.

Stansted Airport MD Gareth Powell plants an alder with the help of colleagues Daniel Burford and Sam Lomax. Picture: In-Press (63315824)
Stansted Airport MD Gareth Powell plants an alder with the help of colleagues Daniel Burford and Sam Lomax. Picture: In-Press (63315824)

The event marked the end of a week-long volunteering effort by staff. They planted 1,600 trees – one for every MAG (Manchester Airports Group) employee at the airport – at Stansted Mountfitchet's Gunyah Vineyard.

The initiative supported not only the QGC project but also the airport's environmental sustainability work.

With a spade in hand, Mr Powell said: "Having the opportunity to plant this tree in honour of Her Majesty the Queen is a great privilege. With 1,600 native trees planted by our employees in the local community, this final tree is a lasting tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who opened the airport's iconic terminal in 1991, and will be a lasting legacy for future generations.

Stansted Airport staff adding to the Queen's Green Canopy at Gunyah Vineyard
Stansted Airport staff adding to the Queen's Green Canopy at Gunyah Vineyard

"We do a lot of great work to improve and maintain the biodiversity on our airport site and it's important for our staff to become engaged in that work, which projects like this help with.

"While planting trees near an airport is restricted, we partnered with Gunyah Vineyard to complete this project in the local area. Due to its location near the railway line, customers using the Stansted Express will be able to see the plantation develop over the years.

"At London Stansted we have committed to zero net loss of biodiversity. This means initiatives such as this ensure that the airport grows sustainably and benefits the local community as well."

Mike Hayton, of Gunyah Vinyard, said: "I was amazed the team were able to plant so many trees when they were here. It's going to be wonderful to watch them grow and recreate the woodland which was once here. The trees will create a perfect backdrop to the vineyard."

Stansted Airport managing director Gareth Powell plants an alder. Picture: In-Press (63315820)
Stansted Airport managing director Gareth Powell plants an alder. Picture: In-Press (63315820)

The QGC initiative, which ended on Friday (March 31), has resulted in the planting of more than a million trees across the UK after King Charles III extended the initiative in September following the Queen's death.

In March 2022, volunteers from the airport planted 1,000 trees at the Bridge Meadow Donkey Sanctuary in Widdington. A variety of native trees were planted over three days, including silver birch, hazel, larch, Scots pine and eared willow.



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