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Transatlantic tree planting as county gets ready for a weekend of jubilee celebrations

Culture and tourism

31 May 2022

Jubilee tree planting ceremony at Silverstone Circuit

Excitement for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is spanning across the Atlantic as Northamptonshire gears up for four days of celebrations this weekend.

Residents in Northamptonshire’s twin city of Indianapolis, USA are among those planning to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne – and recently showed their support by joining our county for a twin tree-planting ceremony at Silverstone Circuit as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy Initiative.

The special ceremony took place at Silverstone this month with former Indy Car and Formula 1 driver and Indianapolis 500 competitor Max Chilton joining Northamptonshire Queen’s Green Canopy Chairman Paul Parsons to plant an American Sweetgum tree at the world-famous motor circuit.

Meanwhile at the same time in the USA, an English oak tree was being planted in Garfield Regional Park, Indianapolis by Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis Judith B Thomas, joined by Chris St. Paul, President of the Indianapolis-Northamptonshire Sister Cities Committee.

Paul Parsons said: “We are delighted by Indianapolis’ enthusiasm to take part in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and hope that the English Oak they have planted thrives as does this American Gumtree, as enduring symbols of the friendship between our two nations and between the City of Indianapolis and the county of Northamptonshire.

“Over one million trees have so far been planted across the country and I’m delighted to say that there has been great enthusiasm and participation for this initiative in all corners of our county. We are also very grateful to the Silverstone Circuit for providing this fine American Gumtree.

“When I was tasked to lead this initiative in Northamptonshire, I saw its remit as stretching across its 900 or so square miles, but what I had not foreseen was an international element!”

Northamptonshire became twinned with Indianapolis in 2009, when the then Mayor of Indianapolis sought to develop a relationship with Great Britain through the Sister Cities International Scheme, that would foster economic, cultural, and technological growth with another area that had a strong focus on the motorsports industry.

The Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis, Judith B Thomas, said: “It is an honour for us to join with Northamptonshire in celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and to contribute in a small way to her Green Canopy Project. Toward that end, we’ve planted an English Oak at the historic Garfield Regional Park on the south side of Indianapolis.

“We were excited to know that at the same moment, representatives of West and North Northamptonshire Councils and the Northamptonshire Queen’s Green Canopy Committee were at the Silverstone Circuit, planting a tree to represent our Sister City relationship.”

Mr Bazire said: “At Silverstone, sustainability is very important to us, and the circuit aims to be Zero Carbon by 2030. We are therefore very pleased to help the environment by planting this tree and contributing to the legacy of the Queen’s Green Canopy, which will benefit generations to come.

“We are also delighted that the BRDC member Max Chilton, who has such close links to Indianapolis through his racing career, could be a part of the planting ceremony.”

The tree planting took place in the run-up a bank holiday of Jubilee celebrations being planned across Northamptonshire this weekend, including a countywide pageant of military and community groups through Northampton Town Centre on Saturday.

Towns and parishes will also be lighting official Jubilee beacons this Thursday, with communities and neighbourhoods across the county holding street parties, alongside two major Jubilee Big Lunch events taking place at Northampton’s Delapre Abbey and Wicksteed Park in Kettering on Sunday.

To find out more about the jubilee celebrations and how to get involved in the Queen’s Green Canopy tree-planting initiative, visit our Jubilee webpage.

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