One of Britain’s rarest trees was planted at Hall Place Gardens to kick off Bexley’s jubilee celebrations.

Mayor Alan Downing and Major David Hewer OBE, the Deputy Lieutenant of Bexley, were at the magnificent grounds to help plant the black poplar.

Each of London’s 32 boroughs has been presented with a tree to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.

At the ceremonial planting on Tuesday Major Hewer said: “Today all over the land Deputy Lieutenants and Mayors are planting black poplar trees as a means of commemorating the Diamond Jubilee – just as the Queen wished”. The native trees used to be a common sight across England, but are now an endangered species, with only 8,000 of them remaining in Britain.

The species is struggling to reproduce naturally as they are either male or female, with only 400 females left. The Queen has recognised this and has favoured planting black poplar saplings on her estates and in the Royal Parks. The new addition joins a collection of over 700 trees from across the world on the Hall Place Estate.

Bexley residents are being encouraged to join in The Big Lunch celebrations for the Jubilee on Sunday June 3 by picnicking with friends and family in the Hall Place Gardens.

Visitors to the award-winning venue will be able to enjoy the new summer planting and the inspirational herbaceous borders that are just coming into flower.

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