The Queen put her green fingers to good use as she launched a project which aims to plant six million native British trees to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
Accompanied by her daughter, the Princess Royal, yesterday, she planted an oak which will be a focal point of the new 20-acre Jubilee Wood on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
The Queen wore a bottle-green overcoat and green and white headscarf on a frosty morning.
She remarked: “It is terribly bleak here – there is nothing between here and Siberia.”
Princess Anne, who is patron of the project, said: “Trees often form part of royal celebrations. The Duke of Edinburgh planted one at Sandringham for the Queen’s Coronation.
“Those trees will be enjoyed by generations to come. People will grow up with them and they will be engraved on our memories.”
The royal pair watched as pupils from Sandringham and West Newton and Flitcham primary schools began planting their own trees.
Over the next 15 months, the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project will fund new woods across the country. Yesterday marked the start of the tree-planting and a million are expected to be planted in February alone.
The project is funded by supermarket giant Sainsbury’s, which has pledged to raise £1.5m by increasing the number of donations made from products in store.
The Woodland Trust is to distribute free community tree packs containing 105 or 420 native tree species. These packs come in four themes, each containing an oak sapling grown from acorns collected on royal estates.