Sandringham Park given royal approval

NAWN 1204284 Sandringham Park tree planting. The Mayor of Wetherby Cindy Bentley, Kazia Knight and members of the friends of Sandringham Park Christine Lister, Sharon Green, Norma Steel and Joan Robinson prepare to plant one of the oak trees dispite the heavy rain. (1204284AM1)
NAWN 1204284 Sandringham Park tree planting. The Mayor of Wetherby Cindy Bentley, Kazia Knight and members of the friends of Sandringham Park Christine Lister, Sharon Green, Norma Steel and Joan Robinson prepare to plant one of the oak trees dispite the heavy rain. (1204284AM1)

A Wetherby park has been given the royal seal of approval after a letter from Buckingham Palace thanked a volunteer group for planting an oak tree in the Queen’s honour.

The sapling was planted at Wetherby’s Sandringham Park by the Friends of Sandringham Park group to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last year.

The correspondence, sent by the Queen’s official lady-in-waiting, to chairman Kazia Knight reads: “The Queen has been moved by the wonderful response to her Jubilee, and touched to hear that you planted an oak tree from Her Majesty’s royal gardens, to commemorate this special occasion, and that you plan to plant another this year in honour of the Queen.”

Kazia told the News this week that the park was an important part of Wetherby.

She said: “At a time when resources are going down across the country we are very lucky to have to volunteers to help us at the park and it is important for us to maintain this.

“We are very lucky to have this green space here in Wetherby.

“Green parks and outdoor spaces have also been proven to be good for mental health and it is good for the ecosystem too.”

The letter from Buckingham Palace was sent in response to a letter from Miss Knight which informed the Queen of the tree planting ceremony to celebrate her 60 years on the throne.

The Friends of Sandringham Park group have also recently been awarded a Green Standard from the Royal Horticultural Society for the wildlife in the park which includes a bat colony, discovered by a Wetherby PCSO last year.

The park - which shares the same name as the Queen’s much-loved Norfolk retreat Sandringham House - also includes a children’s play area and is used by older children to play football.

The volunteer group was set up in February 2011 to try to reduce the number of anti-social behaviour incidents in the area.

The park has since achieved several awards including the prestigious national Green Flag award in 2012, which the volunteers will enter again for this year.

The Green Flag Awards recognise and reward the best parks in the country and is run by environmental charities Keep Britain Tidy, The Conservation Volunteers and GreenSpa.