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As part of Covers Timber and Builders Merchants’ 175th anniversary celebrations, and the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, the builders merchant planted 175 beech trees at Selhurst Park near Chichester on Thursday 17th November.

The trees were kindly provided by Maelor Forest Nurseries and planted by Tilhill, members of BSW Group and sister companies to BSW Timber – a leading Covers supplier – and Covers staff. The new woodland has been created at Monarch’s Way, as it crosses from the A285 to Selhurst Park Road, enhancing the public footpath and the South Downs landscape.

Planting beech trees near Goodwood is particularly apt for the Green family, who have been running Covers since the 1940s. The family’s forestry business, which began operating in Sussex in the 1930s, harvested trees from the Goodwood Estate and ran the timber mill at Charlton.

Members of the Green family – the oldest being Richard, aged 84, and the youngest Hamish, who hasn’t yet turned 1 – were joined by directors and staff from Covers’ Chichester and Burgess Hill depots to plant the trees. The tree planters toasted the new woodland with Gusbourne sparkling wine, which is grown nearby.

Rupert Green, Chairman of Covers, said: “Timber is at the heart of Covers Timber and Builders Merchants. All the wood we procure is from sustainable sources, so every tree used is replaced. The carbon dioxide stays locked up in the timber for as long as the building it has been used to create remains standing.

“This woodland will provide a very tangible memory of Covers’ 175th anniversary to go with our personal memories of the events we have enjoyed with our staff, customers, and suppliers over the last year.”

Henry Green, Covers’ Managing Director, organised the burial of a 175th anniversary memory box which included mementos of Covers’ year of celebrations.

He added: “We are fortunate to have had a lovely day to gather as a team and plant this wood together. We look forward to seeing it, and Covers, grow in this century and the next.”

Sally McCarthy from Covers’ Accounts Department was part of the planting team. She commented: “I felt tremendously privileged to be a part of Covers’ history and really enjoyed planting lots of trees. I know which ones are mine and shall be visiting the wood regularly to see how they grow over the years.”

Tony Hackney, CEO at BSW Group, said: “We’re very proud to have worked with Covers and help bring their vision of the Covers woodland to life. Donating the trees and co-ordinating the planting feels like a fitting way to support one of our key customers as they mark 175 years in business.

“We’d like to congratulate Covers on the landmark, and praise them for celebrating it with the creation of a woodland, which will benefit the environment for years to come.”

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a unique, UK-wide tree planting initiative created to mark the late Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It invited people to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’. The initiative has been extended to March 2023 to allow people to plant trees in her honour.