LONDON, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- A tree planted by Queen Elizabeth in 1977 to mark her silver jubilee will be chopped down along with an area of ancient woodland under plans for a new highway, it was revealed Friday.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has launched a petition in a bid to save one of the Britain's most horticulturally important gardens at Wiseley in Surrey which is under threat from a plan by Highways England plans to widen the A3 highway.
The RHS says the threat to the Grade II site could be the ultimate garden grab, saying more than 10,000 square meters of woodland could be lost and more than 500 trees destroyed at the garden site which attracts more than 1.2 million visitors a year. As well as the Queen's tree, a number of giant redwood and endangered species of trees are also threatened.
Highways England has produced two alternative plans for the multi-million dollar road widening scheme, including one that sweeps through the Wiseley Gardens.
The RHS is best known as organisers of the world's most famous horticultural event, the annual Chelsea Flower Show.
Sue Biggs, director general of the RHS, said: "It would be criminal for this irreplaceable woodland to be lost when another viable plan would avoid cutting down these century-old trees and still meet the important need to widen the A3. We're currently investing over 70 million pounds (90 million U.S. dollars) into RHS Garden Wisley in horticulture, new laboratories, learning buildings and visitor facilities, making the garden an even more important center for science."
"The role that these trees play in mitigating against pollution, giving a home to wildlife and providing a visual and noise barrier to preserve the peace and productivity of the garden cannot, and must not, be underestimated," he added.
The campaign has won support from celebrity garden and RHS ambassador Alan Titchmarsh who has called on Britain's 27 million gardeners to oppose the road plan.
He said: "This potential garden grabbing plan would be another unacceptable example of this government's poor perception of horticulture and lack of appreciation of the vital role that plants play for the environment, for the nation's health and wellbeing and for the UK economy. Wisley is the UK's center of excellence for horticulture and horticultural science and helps millions of people to garden and grow plants."