a digging duchess

Here’s a tree planting moment that’s a bit unusual – a celebrity Duchess on the end of spade helping plant a New Zealand Kōwhai tree.


When Megan and Harry were visiting Auckland in late October, they were kitted-up then set to work not only to get these trees into the ground but also to make a point – that the network of forest conservation programmes across the Commonwealth has been growing since it was launched in 2015 under the banner of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. It’s a brilliantly simple concept: to use covenants to give long-term protection to green gems on private land – native forest remnants, wetlands, high country, threatened species habitats and arboretums. And as Harry explained in his speech on the day, “The sooner we fully appreciate our surroundings and how interconnected we all are the better. Not just for our planet, but for the balance of all its inhabitants.” Twenty hectares of North Harbour native bush have now joined the Queen’s Canopy network and as everyone wants the planting to thrive, Sarah Jones from Auckland Council requested TerraCottem Universal to be used on the day. One day, Megan and Harry may pay another visit with their children in hand, and they’ll be able to stand under the Kōwhai trees filled with tree geckos, kereru pigeons, tui and bell birds.

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