The Tale of Peter Rabbit is well-known to children at Puddleduck Nursery in Perthshire.
Based just a stone’s throw from where the cheeky character’s creator played as a child the Beatrix Potter story is a favourite of the youngsters in Dunkeld.
So when it was decided to recognise Peter Rabbit’s role in the Queen’s Green Canopy project by planting a tree at the Beatrix Potter Garden, they were only too eager to get their spades out.
Peter Rabbit is the Children’s Ambassador for the nationwide tree planting initiative to celebrate Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee next year.
The tree planted on Friday by the nursery with Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Perth and Kinross Alex Cairncross is among thousands expected to be planted across the UK to create a legacy benefiting future generations.
Nursery owner Heather Morton said it was a “great honour” to be asked and manager Emily Kerr said: “The kids were just so excited to meet the Queen’s ‘friend’!”
The children regularly visit the Beatrix Potter Garden and for the planting ceremony they made rabbit ears and had rabbit-shaped shortbread.
Ms Cairncross said she was delighted when she learned that Peter Rabbit was the Children’s Ambassador, due to the local association of the garden, museum and shop in the Birnam Arts Centre.
She said: “It was a no-brainer to invite the children from local nursery Puddleduck Nursery to plant a tree there.
“Heather was delighted when I asked her if the children would like to participate and immediately sourced blue high-viz jackets for the children to wear to walk from the nursery to the garden, to echo Peter Rabbit’s blue jacket.
“They all arrived wearing their rabbit ears which they had coloured in.
“Today has been a great event to raise awareness of The Queen’s Green Canopy with the children.”
Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail
Beatrix Potter used to holiday in the area as a child and the garden created in her memory contains statues of Peter and some of her other characters, including Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, Jeremy Fisher, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Mr Tod.
Peter Rabbit was chosen as the Children’s Ambassador because of the beautiful depictions of woodland adventures in Potter’s books, and to help children understand the importance of trees to wildlife.
First published in 1902, The Tale of Peter Rabbit also shares its 120th anniversary with the Queen’s 70th.
The Queen’s Green Canopy began this month with the start of tree planting season and runs to the end of 2022.
Lord Lieutenant for Perth and Kinross Stephen Leckie was one of the first in Scotland to take part, planting a prunus at Braidhaugh Park in Crieff last week.
Children at Our Lady’s Primary School, in Perth, have also planted trees and celebrated with a special performance.
We also made the most of the weather by getting out to sing our ‘Let’s Plant a Tree for the Queen’s Jubilee’ song – it’s so lovely to hear the children singing again! 🎶 @QGCanopy @PKCEducation pic.twitter.com/3RPO0R6qc3
— Our Lady's (@OurLadysPerth) October 6, 2021