Mursley man’s green leafed Jubilee legacy

Roger Jefcoate with Sir David Attenborough, Julie Mills (Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea) and Sir David Brewer (Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London)
Roger Jefcoate with Sir David Attenborough, Julie Mills (Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea) and Sir David Brewer (Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London)

A MAN from Mursley has spoken of his pride after his trees were presented to 32 London Mayors by the world’s most respected naturalist.

Last June this page reported that Roger Jefcoate CBE had been asked to supply black poplars by the Lord Lieutenant and former Lord Mayor Sir David Brewer to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Just before Christmas Sir David Attenborough presented saplings of the rare native tree to the Mayors so they can be planted in every London Borough.

Mr Jefcoate said: “It was a thrill just to be standing next to an icon like Sir David Attenborough. But what is most gratifying is the thought that I might be helping to preserve a magnificent tree for future generations.”

The black poplar (populus nigra betufolia) is Britain’s rarest native timber tree and was once common and widespread in England and Wales, used in farming and construction. But now only a few thousand remain nationwide and they are not reproducing naturally.

Half of the black poplars which remain have laid their roots in North Bucks and Aylesbury Vale District Council supported the London project by letting Mr Jefcoate propagate the saplings from cuttings taken from the district’s trees.

For more than 35 years Mr Jefcoate has grown and planted hundreds of black poplars throughout the Vale as well as Britain’s Royal parks, Buckingham Palace, Sandringham, Lambeth Palace, Chequers, and he even replaced those painted by John Constable at Salisbury Cathedral.