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NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh Recognised with Ceremonial Trees on Behalf of the late HM The Queen


Earlier today at the green space near the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Little France, two Rowan Trees have been planted in honour of NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh.

The trees were planted as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative, in recognition of the remarkable contribution made by NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh in the fight against Covid 19.

The QGC initiative was established for the Platinum Jubilee of her late majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2022 and was extended by the current patron King Charles III until March 2023 to include the full UK tree planting season.

The ceremonial planting was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh, Councillor Robert Aldridge; Chairman of NHS Lothian, Professor John Connaghan CBE; and Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Sir Peter Mathieson.

As Lord Lieutenant of Scotland’s capital city, I was delighted to take the opportunity of nominating worthy recipients for these special trees – and who better than our esteemed health and higher education partners?

These gifted trees are in recognition of the extraordinary contribution made by NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh in the fight against Covid-19.

We are very fortunate to have one of the world’s leading biomedical research centres here in the Capital and the ability to mobilise the colossal resources needed to meet the challenge of Covid is something for which we are all very thankful. It was their great collaboration between the University and our NHS was pivotal in the successful development and rollout of the vaccine.

On behalf of the city, I offer my heart-felt thanks to the dedicated researchers and health professionals at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian. I would also like to thank the Queen’s Green Canopy for providing this wonderful opportunity today to recognise this achievement.

The Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh, Councillor Robert Aldridge

It is a great honour that staff from NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh are to be recognised and remembered by Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, through the Queen’s Green Canopy.

The resilience and unwavering dedication of our teams throughout the pandemic has been truly remarkable and we are extremely grateful that the Queen’s Green Canopy has chosen to plant commemorative trees on the Little France campus.

We have all been affected by Covid-19 and the two Rowan trees will provide a quiet reflective space for staff, patients and visitors. They will offer a place for people to remember those whose lives were lost during the pandemic, they will commemorate the sacrifices made by NHS Lothian staff and they will recognise the incredible advances in research made by our staff, as well as our partners at the University.

Professor John Connaghan CBE, Chairman of NHS Lothian

I am pleased that the tireless work of our academics, NHS health professionals and staff is being recognised by the City of Edinburgh Council as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. Often working closely with NHS colleagues, our researchers continue to make a significant contribution to support the world’s effort to overcome Covid-19. I am very proud of the ways we have adapted, innovated and collaborated in often deeply challenging circumstances.

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Edinburgh

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