YOUNGSTERS at Hardmoor Early Years Centre were excited to welcome the outgoing mayor of Southampton, Cllr Alex Houghton, to help celebrate planting a tree to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee.

The lilac tree, kindly donated by Shergolds Nursery in West End, was planted as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, a unique tree-planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, set to take place early next month.

After sharing a few words with the gathered families, the mayor grabbed a shovel and was helped by some of the children who attend the centre to plant the tree, which was placed by the entrance path for everyone to enjoy.

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A cake sale raised funds for a commemorative plaque to mark the event.

Cllr Houghton was gifted a box of eggs from the Hardmoor free range chickens as a thank you.

Children and staff at Hardmoor Early Years Centre now look forward to watching the tree grow and develop over the years. It will be used as part of the pre-school aged children’s learning at this woodland nursery on the edge of the city in Bassett Green.

Daily Echo:

The event was one of the final ceremonial occasions attended by Cllr Houghton, the Conservative councillor for Peartree, who has enjoyed a busy year of events, some of the first ones on Zoom before switching to in person events.

A lavish ceremony at the Guildhall saw Labour councillor for Bevois Jacqui Rayment become the 800th mayor of Southampton.

The city also welcomed its first ever Children’s Mayor, Amaanah Hayat, a Year 5 pupil from St Denys Primary School who will assist Cllr Rayment with her duties during the coming year.

Children from all the primary, infant and junior schools across the city were encouraged to apply for the coveted new role by submitting a project idea that would help improve the lives of children in their school and across the city.

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