Sherston's new royal tree is also a real gem

This Is Wiltshire: Sue McKechnie, deputy tree warden, and Sherston Scout leader Riaan van Rooyen with Sherston’s first Diamond Jubilee tree Sue McKechnie, deputy tree warden, and Sherston Scout leader Riaan van Rooyen with Sherston’s first Diamond Jubilee tree

Sherston is preparing for a special tree planting ceremony as the village is about to be honoured with its second Diamond Jubilee tree.

A tree was planted in 1897 in the village to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria – now Sherston is one of just 60 communities around the country receiving an oak sapling from the Tree Council.

The council’s project aims to have children see their tree grow to maturity over the next 60 years and take pride in it, showing it to future generations.

Sherston Scouts, led by Riaan van Rooyen, have already dug the hole for the project and will be overseeing the planting in a ceremony later this month, with help from older Explorer Scouts.

Mr van Rooyen said: “We dug the hole for the tree on Saturday and the Scouts are looking forward to the ceremony, as are the rest of the community. It will be right after church so we’ll get the community rallied together.”

The sapling will be planted on the Recreation Ground near the golden ash tree planted for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Every stage of the planning and planting is being recorded in words and photographs and will be sent to the Tree Council, which plans to make a presentation of all 60 planting records to the Queen next June on the anniversary of her Coronation.

A spokesman for the Tree Council said: “We wanted to do something that would engage children, so we asked our tree wardens what they would do if they were given a tree.

“We want to get kids involved with the idea of using trees as markers in time. It’s an education opportunity which engages kids in the continuation of the monarchy and also the continuation of trees. We’re helping make cultural landmarks for the future.”

The planting ceremony will be on Sunday, December 16, at noon, in Sherston Recreation Ground.

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