National Memorial Arboretum gets a granite memorial for The Queen's Green Canopy
The entrance to Staffordshire’s National Memorial Arboretum has a new feature – a sculpture by local artist Graeme Mitcheson in granite from Tarmac’s Mountsorrel Quarry, near Loughborough, in Leicestershire.
There are several examples of Graeme's work at the National Memorial Arboretum as well as many other public sites across the UK.
The latest piece was added as part of the Arboretum’s contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy – a tree planting initiative designed to honour the late monarch.
The nationwide initiative concluded in March. It saw more than 3million trees planted across the UK, including 28 along the entrance to the arboretum.
The 9-tonne block of granite includes 40 stainless steel elm, oak, and lime leaves, representing the trees planted in the arboretum’s contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy.
As operators of Alrewas Quarry adjacent to the arboretum site, Tarmac has enjoyed a close relationship with the National Memorial Arboretum ever since it agreed to lease the land for the creation of the UK’s equivalent of America’s Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the uniformed services for a ‘peppercorn rent’ in 1994.
The 150-acre site has since evolved into an inspirational landscape, home to more than 400 memorials dedicated to the armed forces, emergency services, and voluntary organisations that serve the country.
Philippa Rawlinson, director of the National Memorial Arboretum, says: “As our patron, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was gracious and unwavering in her support for the arboretum over many years.
“It is wonderful that we were able to complete our contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy at the arboretum on what would have been Queen Elizabeth II’s 97th birthday [21 April], as a celebration of her lifelong commitment to service.”
Nick Atkins, strategic planning manager (Central) for Tarmac, says: “We’re proud to continue our support for the National Memorial Arboretum and its ongoing work in nurturing a space which celebrates lives lived and commemorates lives lost.
“It is an honour to have been able to donate this piece of granite to mark the arboretum’s contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.
“What a striking new addition to the arboretum! And a truly fitting tribute to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”