On the seventy-first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, residents of the parishes of Barton Turf, Irstead, and Neatishead gathered on 6th February 2023, to plant three trees in commemoration of Her Late Majesty’s long and dedicated life and service. They form part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, a project launched in March 2021, involving the planting of one million trees, under the patronage of our new King and were the culmination of the three villages’ Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, during which time monies were raised to purchase the trees and commemorative tree guards.
Louis Baugh, of Neatishead, Deputy Lieutenant, representing the Norfolk Lieutenancy, reflected on the importance of commemorating our late monarch through the planting of trees, and read Joyce Kilmer’s famous poem, ‘Trees’, published in 1913 at each of the three sites. He was then ably assisted by Lenny, at Barton Staithe; Cecily and Milly at Irstead Staithe; and Jessica aged at Neatishead Recreation Ground, all children from Neatishead Church of England Primary School and are resident in their respective villages. The trees were then each blessed by the Curate of the Benefice of St Benedict, The Rev’d Taylor Wilton-Morgan, who reflected on their use as an image of a righteous life in Psalm 1, and prayed these words:
Bless, O Lord, this tree which today we plant in loving commemoration of our late Queen. May it show forth your splendour and give joy to all who behold it. And may its long life and growth serve to us as a sign, that rooted in your love, we may inhabit life in abundance, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, whose saving death made the wood of the Cross the Tree of Life. Amen.