A FOREST planted to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has really taken root in the community.
Jubilee Wood, in the heart of Jarrow, is in the running for a Pride of South Tyneside Award, in the Greener South Tyneside category.
Mike Conlon, head of corporate and commercial development at South Tyneside Council, nominated it.
He said: “Trees play an important role in the community, from an environmental and aesthetical perspective.
“Schools and colleges can integrate this into their curriculum, enabling young people to learn about the importance of trees.
“The children will visit the site for years to come, learning about the trees and taking photos as they grow.
“The trees help towards the goal of enriching the site and making it a great place for wildlife and visitors.
“One of the project’s intentions is to look at opening up the vicinity to greater public use.”
The first 10 trees were planted in December last year, and more than 400 now stand in a “little oasis” incorporating the River Don.
The trees have been supplied free of charge by the Woodland Trust, as part of the charity’s Jubilee Woods project.
Jubilee Wood has also played an integral part of an apprenticeship scheme between South Tyneside Homes and Northumberland College at Kirkley Hall.
It is also a 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Legacy project.
Chris Gray, trees inspector for the council, said: “We are very pleased to be nominated. We think there is going to be a lot of success in the future.
“People seem to be using it now. The frequency and number of visitors has increased with the high-profile entrance created by respected chainsaw sculptor, Tommy Craggs.
“The Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear gave us a lot of positive feedback. He quite liked it when he came.”
The Pride of South Tyneside Awards, organised by the Gazette, South Tyneside Council and the Customs House, recognise the borough’s unsung heroes.
Ten awards will be handed out in a glittering ceremony at the Temple Park Centre in South Shields on Sunday, April 28.