The Great Cedar to be part of Ancient Canopy to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The Queen's Green Canopy - The Great Cedar

Painshill Park Trust is delighted that The Great Cedar 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.

The tree at Painshill is part of a UK-wide network of 70 ancient woodlands and 70 ancient trees unveiled by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, in his role as Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC).

By sharing the stories behind the Ancient woodlands and trees, as well as the incredible efforts that are made to protect them, The Queen’s Green Canopy aims to raise awareness of these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.

The Prince of Wales, who is also a Royal Patron of the Painshill Park Trust, said: “Trees and woodlands have a profound significance for us all – their steadfast and reassuring presence a reminder of our long serving Sovereign and her enduring dedication. Let us ensure that in her name we can now protect and strengthen this wonderful living Canopy for the next seventy years and, hopefully, way beyond. And, above all, let us ensure that future generations can celebrate and enjoy them.”

Sir Stephen Lamport, Chairman of the Painshill Park Trust, said: “We are overjoyed that the Great Cedar at Painshill has been chosen to form part of this nationwide network, playing a meaningful part in the nationwide celebrations of Her Majesty’s work over 70 years of service. We are honoured to have The Prince of Wales as our Royal Patron and to be able to honour Her Majesty and her Jubilee in such a fitting way.”

The Great Cedar, a tree planted by Charles Hamilton in the 18th century, has become the largest multi-stemmed Cedar in Europe and stands at 118 foot high. Hamilton, the creator of Painshill, was described as “painting with plants” and he used them to create atmosphere and beauty. He planted The Great Cedar to draw the eye of the visitor and create a dramatic moment in a view.

The tree has survived wars, drought, storms and a lighting strike. It has even survived the loss of the 18th century garden after World War II. The garden was sold off in plots and fell into ruin. The Cedar lived on to see the restoration of the garden begin in 1981 with the founding of the Painshill Park Trust.

The Great Cedar has always been important to the community. It has inspired artists and poets, people have scaled its heights, Merrist Wood Collage have used it for training and many thousands of school children have enjoyed activities around it. It is labelled a Champion Tree for its width.

The Great Cedar is beloved today by Painshill members and visitors. Painshill grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when local people turned to nature and green outdoor spaces for some tranquility in troubled times. The community rallied behind Painshill and raised over £50,000 to help the garden survive lockdown and reopen safely. In summer 2020 we lit up The Great Cedar blue as a tribute to everyone working hard to get the country through the pandemic.

In 2022, Painshill Park Trust planted a new cedar to mark the Queen’s 70th year and celebrate what the species has brought to the landscape.