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Ella crowned competition winner to rename Nottinghamshire woodland

Friday, 22 March 2024

People in a Nottinghamshire woodland who have been tree planting. Featured from left to right are: Ken Hamilton, Cllr Scott Carlton, Nick Tucker, Ella, her mum, her dad, Madeleine Fletcher.

A Nottinghamshire schoolgirl has won a special competition to rename a woodland in memory of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

Ella Heappey, 11, who attends Underwood Church of England Primary School, was crowned the winner for suggesting Monarch Wood as the new name for the site close to Willey Wood Farm at Brinsley. The farm was acquired in 2022 for the creation of woodland and has been sponsored by the Woodland Trust, Nottinghamshire County Council and the Trees for Climate programme funded by Defra.

Ella said “l didn't expect to win the competition. I think the community woodland project is a really good idea that brings the community together and teaches children about helping the environment. I chose the name in memory of our dear Queen Elizabeth II.”

Ella’s parents, Marie and Mark added “We're very proud of Ella. It's wonderful that schools within the district were given the opportunity to participate in the competition and then the planting of the woodlands. Projects like this help raise awareness of climate issues and what we can do to help the environment. It will be a lovely place to take a walk and enjoy nature. It’s nice to think that our daughter named the local woods and it will be there for future generations to enjoy.”

The competition was organised by Nottinghamshire County Council and the Greenwood Community Forest, which manages the woodland as part of the Trees for Climate (T4C) programme.

As well as Underwood CofE Primary School, pupils from Lawrence View Primary and Greasley Beauvale Primary schools took part in the competition – which attracted an impressive 319 entries. Underwood and Lawrence View schools also planted 82 trees at Monarch Wood.

Councillor Scott Carlton, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health and a member of the competition’s judging panel, said he was impressed with the quality of entries and highlighted the importance of schoolchildren being involved with projects like T4C.

He said: “It is important to engage future generations in initiatives like Trees for Climate, fostering a deeper connection with nature and heritage.

“This competition was a great opportunity for us to get the local community involved in renaming the wood, whilst helping to raise awareness of tree planting.”

Willey Wood Farm, now Monarch Wood, was awarded Platinum Woods status in 2022 by the Woodland Trust, a leading delivery partner of the Queen's Green Canopy – which is an initiative creating a legacy in honour of the late Queen, with its key aim to plant trees in communities to enhance their environment.

More than 33,000 trees will be eventually planted at the site, contributing significantly to mitigating the impact of climate change.

Nick Tucker, the county council’s Woodland Creation Project Manager, added: “We are really pleased with the engagement and interest in the competition, and very happy with the name Ella has chosen. It fits well with the Platinum Jubilee status and is a fitting memory to HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Ella, along with around 85 other community volunteers, have helped to plant over 1200 trees this season and we hope they will all enjoy using the woodland and watch it develop in the coming years.”

In addition to Cllr Carlton, the judging panel also included Nick Tucker, woodland creation project manager, Trees for Climate, Greenwood Community Forest, Madeleine Fletcher, chairman of Friends of Colliers Wood, and Ken Hamilton, chairman of Friends of Brinsley Headstocks.

Pictured left to right – Ken Hamilton, Cllr Scott Carlton, Nick Tucker, Ella, her mum, her dad, Madeleine Fletcher (in Red).

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