The entranceway to Staffordshire’s National Memorial Arboretum now features a new sculptural addition which has been crafted using stone donated by Tarmac from its Mountsorrel Quarry, near Loughborough, in Leicestershire.
The bespoke sculpture has been created as part of the arboretum’s contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy – a tree planting initiative designed to honour Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The nationwide initiative, which concluded in March, has seen over three million trees planted across the UK. This includes 28 trees now planted along the entranceway to the arboretum.
Featuring 40 stainless steel elm, oak and lime leaves, the new sculpture reflects the species found within the arboretum’s contribution to The Queen’s Green Canopy. It has been hand-carved from a single nine-tonne piece of granite excavated from Tarmac’s Mountsorrel Quarry and subsequently crafted by local artist and sculptor Graeme Mitcheson.
Operator of Alrewas Quarry adjacent to the arboretum site, Tarmac has enjoyed a close relationship with the National Memorial Arboretum since agreeing to lease the land 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 who serve our country.
Philippa Rawlinson, director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “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, as a celebration of her lifelong commitment to service.”
Nick Atkins, strategic planning manager (Central) for Tarmac, said: “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.”
To learn more about the National Memorial Arboretum, visit www.thenma.org.uk