The Sidmouth and District Royal Naval Old Comrades Association has joined with Sidmouth Arboretum to celebrate Trafalgar Day and to plant the town’s first tree for the Queen’s Green Canopy Project.

Naval Comrades, Richard Waring (RNOCA Chair), Richard Long (President), Peter O'Brien (Vice-Chair), Chris Pink (Vice-President), Andrew Rugg-Gunn (Hon. Secretary)
Naval Comrades, Richard Waring (RNOCA Chair), Richard Long (President), Peter O’Brien (Vice-Chair), Chris Pink (Vice-President), Andrew Rugg-Gunn (Hon. Secretary)

The local Old Comrades met the Arboretum team and representatives of the Town Council to plant a young English Oak in Long Park.  As it grows, this tree will help maintain the wooded edge of the park which has seen the loss of several Ash trees by the disease Ash Dieback which is causing so much damage to the valley’s trees.

Arboretum Chair, Jon Ball said, “We are thrilled to join with the Old Comrades to plant a tree to mark their service along with that of the Queen.  We are pleased to be working with the Town Council to enhance the valley’s treescape, and we have to say a huge thank you to King’s Garden Centre who donated the tree for the ceremony.”

Naval Comrades, Richard Long and Peter O’Brien
Naval Comrades, Richard Long and Peter O’Brien

Trafalgar Day, 21st October, is a significant day in the calendar for naval veterans.  It marks both triumph and disaster, the naval victory over Napoleon’s combined French and Spanish Fleet, but the loss of many good sailors including the most celebrated victim, Horatio Nelson.

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a project to encourage the planting of trees across the nation to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s 70 years of leadership and service, a project which will benefit future generations. 

Naval Comrades 1, Chris Lockyear (Chair STC Environment), Richard Waring (Chair Sidmouth RNOCA), Diana East (President Sidmouth Arboretum)
Naval Comrades, Chris Lockyear (Chair STC Environment), Richard Waring (Chair Sidmouth RNOCA), Diana East (President Sidmouth Arboretum)

Andrew Rugg Gunn, Secretary of the Old ComradesAssociation said, “Sidmouth & District Royal Naval Old Comrades Association are delighted to have this opportunity to plant an English Oak on Trafalgar Day as part of Sidmouth’s contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy.  For centuries, Britain’s fighting ships were built of oak.  Our Association, founded in 1912, is believed to be the oldest in the country, and we follow the naval tradition of celebrating October 21st as Trafalgar Day; this includes a toast, in rum, to Admiral Lord Nelson.”

Sidmouth Arboretum is working on plans for more community tree planting and other ways to join in with the national celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee next year.  Keep an eye on their website for news as it develops.

Ed Dolphin

Picture choice, all pictures from Sidmouth Arboretum

 

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