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Final planting of trees marks completion of Myerscough’s King’s Drive

Tuesday 30 January

Staff, students and invited special guests have completed the restoration of a line of trees along a historic part of the Myerscough estate.

Kings Drive Group

The King’s Drive is a track which connects Myerscough’s two farms – Lodge and Lee – with the original line of trees along this stretch removed in the late 19th Century, to be replaced by a drainage ditch, before the College took over tenancy of the land in the 1960s.

The restoration project began in 2022, where as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, the trees began to be renewed, in a nationwide scheme to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

With a focus on planting sustainably, the QGC encouraged planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, to benefit future generations.

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Twenty new trees in total have now been planted along the drive.

This week, a group of invited special guests, including Cllr Shaun Turner, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change and Lancashire County Councillor for Wyre Rural East; Dr Barry Johnson, College Fellow, former lecturer of 30 years in veterinary nursing and President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons; and Allan Foster, College Fellow and former Chair of the Myerscough Corporation, joined Chief Executive and Principal Wes Johnson, and Level 1 horticulture staff and students, to plant the final trees.

Duncan Slater, Senior Lecturer in Arboriculture at Myerscough College and University Centre said: ‘’The planting was first started as part of the initial Queen’s Canopy initiative, and has continued in memoriam.

‘’The trees are along the original line from the 1840s a mix of oak, lime, maple, cherry and walnut, to give a nice mix of species, to make a more physical join between Lodge and Lee Farms, and a more ‘posh’ drive.

‘’Lodge Farm is the oldest royal farm in England - owned by the Crown for over 755 years.

‘’For the farmland at the College, which spans around two square miles, this is replanting and greening the landscape at a meaningful scale - and let's hope this small 'explosion' of trees will be followed by further trees, hedgerows and even the creation of some wildlife refuges.

‘’My many thanks must go to our three sponsors of this planting: The Mersey Forest and Tracy Clarke for the supply of the trees - and The Queen's Green Canopy for funding the cattle enclosures necessary for achieving this planting in-field.

‘’Many thanks also go to the many agriculture and countryside students that have built the enclosures, and their tutors too.’’

Wes Johnson, Chief Executive and Principal, said: ‘’There hadn’t been a new tree planted on this land for more than half a century and at a time when we have a climate emergency, it’s even more critical that we do things like this to help support our planet.

‘’We’ve planted more than five thousand trees at Myerscough over the last three years, as well as developing the first ever Arbor Day in the UK, so this is another part of a celebration of all things trees.’’

The completion of the planting marks the launch of next week’s Myerscough annual Careers Event and Arbor Day.

The aim of the event is to inspire students to consider new opportunities and to develop their career management and employability skills.

Meanwhile, the fifth Arbor Day UK is an event to celebrate all things trees and arboriculture.

The day – on February 7th – will be a celebration of trees, those that work with trees (arborists), and recognition of an important global industry.

Both events will take place at Myerscough’s main Preston campus at Bilsborrow.