ROYAL Forestry Society (RFS) chiefs have told of their joy after two woods joined a network of woodlands dedicated to The Queen. 

Hockeridge and Pancake Woods will be two of the 70 Ancient Woodlands that will form part of an Ancient Canopy to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

Launched last week by Prince Charles, the collection will also include 70 trees, such as the Boscobel Oak in Shropshire, a descendant of the tree Charles II used to hide from parliamentary forces in 1651, and Sussex’s Five Hundred Acre. 

READ MORE: Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC): Prince Charles awards special status to 70 of country's most significant trees

RFS chief executive Christopher Williams said: “Hockeridge and Pancake Woods are beautiful, multipurpose woodland with a fascinating history. 

We are proud to be balancing the interests of productive forestry with wildlife conservation and public recreation to ensure they continue to thrive for future generations.”

Forestry Journal: An ancient canopy in Pancake Woods An ancient canopy in Pancake Woods

Hockeridge and Pancake Woods were gifted to the RFS in the 1980s by Mary Wellesley. Evidence of their ancient past can be seen throughout the woods. There are pillow mounds – rabbit warrens dating back to Norman times – and medieval banks. Woodland flora such as native bluebells and dogs mercury also indicate its centuries-old woodland past.

The country boundary between Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire has long been marked as a track through the wood. In the 19th and early 20th century the woods were home to a thriving timber industry. Timber was even taken for decorations to mark King George VI’s coronation in 1936.

Speaking to announce the plans, The Prince of Wales said: "I believe it is absolutely vital that we do our utmost to nurture our historic inheritance through careful management and, in the case of the woodlands, that we can expand them and link them to other natural features like our hedgerows.

“And if we are to create the ‘ancient’ trees of the future, we must plant more trees in hedgerows, fields, churchyards and avenues.

Forestry Journal: Prince Charles announced the plans last week Prince Charles announced the plans last week

“Furthermore, I would suggest that some of those planted should be propagated from today’s ancient trees, thus helping to preserve their unique provenance and heritage.

“These working woodlands and magnificent trees span our nation’s amazing landscape and exist for everyone to enjoy.