The Queen’s Green Canopy aims to raise awareness of these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations and the QGC network of ancient trees and dedicated woodlands will create a physical and lasting legacy of The Queen’s leadership of the nation.
Speaking after the visit, Minister Poots said: “Belvoir Park forest is unique as a city-based working forest and is a popular amenity for local people, providing wonderful walks and views in historical woodlands with rich cultural heritage, biodiversity and a wide variety of tree species. It provides social, environmental, recreational, tourism and economic benefits for the local area.
“I am delighted that the ‘The Belvoir Oak’ has been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Trees to be dedicated to The Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. This ancient woodland site and trees has a historic and local significance. ‘The Belvoir Oak’ is estimated to be around 500 years old and is possibly one of the oldest oak trees in Northern Ireland and is a celebration of our living heritage.
“The initiative encourages people, of all demographics, to take community pride in their trees and woodland environments and to plant trees and appreciate the contribution they make to clean air, impacts of climate change, diverse habitats for plants and wildlife and improving general health and wellbeing.
“Raising the awareness of the importance of forests and trees to society helps encourage landowners to plant new woodlands in line with my Department’s Forests for Our Future Programme to create 9,000 hectares of new woodland by 2030.”