In 1992, there was a countrywide initiative to mark the 40th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II by planting commemorative copses of 40 trees. In Buckinghamshire, individual villages were encouraged to take part in the scheme, with the trees and stakes being provided by the County Council.
After a fair amount of deliberation, it was decided in Wingrave to establish a 'Jubilee Copse' on the outskirts of the village with a mixture of native trees - aspen, ash, birch, field maple, oak, rowan, whitebeam and wild service. Each tree was sponsored by someone in the village, with half of them being sponsored by the pupils of class 7 at Wingrave School.
The driving force behind the scheme was David Snow, a distinguished ornithologist who lived in Wingrave for many years and who was passionately interested in the local fauna and flora. David died earlier this year and the original planting schedule of the copse was found amongst his papers.
Local residents and Special Trees volunteers Andrew and Jane Muir recently checked and measured the trees against the original planting schedule and were pleased to find that the great majority of them are thriving. Given that all of the trees were planted at the same date - November 1992 - the measurement exercise has provided an interesting comparison of the relative growth and success of the different species. The tallest trees are the aspen, averaging about 14 metres, and probably the least successful ones have been the rowans.
If your village planted a copse in 1992, please let us know.
Southern edge of Wingrave