MORE than 28,000 trees are being planted across the South Downs in memory of the Queen to create new wildlife habitat – and eventually to help fight climate change.

They will be in, and around villages at Buriton, East Meon, Froxfield, Hawkley, Selborne and Clanfield.

More than 12,000 trees were planted last winter, and this winter there will be 16,000 more, courtesy of the Trees for the Downs campaign, and the Queen’s Canopy initiative in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

So far, the South Downs National Park Trust has raised almost £200,000 toward the project, while Trees for the Downs aims to raise £260,000 for 100,000 trees.

The saplings will be a mix of disease-resistant elm trees and native species planted at schools, farms, recreation grounds and historic parks.

Sonia Lorenzo-Martin of the national park said: “These life-giving trees are a fitting tribute to the memory of her late majesty.

“Trees provide clean air, enrich soil, are a vital wildlife habitat and are amazing carbon capturers in the fight against climate change.”

And a recent study covering all of Sussex and Hampshire’s part of the national park found almost 23,000 hectares is highly suitable for new woods .

The potential new woodland could store up to 37,667,500 tonnes of CO₂ after 100 years, say those behind the research, the National Park Authority, Sussex Nature Partnership and Woodland Trust.

Sonia added: “This significant research shows we have the potential to create a major carbon sink to help spearhead the fight against climate change. About a quarter of the national park is already wooded, so adding to that is a very exciting prospect for our nation’s climate action.

“Every scheme counts and we now have solid evidence which will make a real difference and help join up habitats as part of the ReNature drive.”

The ReNature campaign aims to create 13,000 hectares of new wildlife habitat in the national park, and for details visit the website at

To donate to Trees for the Downs, or to make an application for potential tree planting, visit

The application deadline is February 28.