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Derbyshire, England

England's 'ER' Plantations

The patches of trees pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. 

There are several conifer plantation installations in the United Kingdom that use patches of trees, planted with different species of conifers, to spell out “ER” on the landscape to celebrate royal events. This one in Baslow dates from sometime around 2002 and was most likely used to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of her ascension to the throne.

The letters “E” and “R” are part of the Queen’s royal cypher, which is essentially a monarch’s monogram that gets featured on some government buildings and royal documents. Queen Elizabeth’s official royal cypher is EIIR, which stands for Elizabeth II Regina (regina is the latin word for queen).

These plantations are commonly planted with the letters spelled out by Larch trees or some other deciduous conifer that changes its needles to a golden brown in autumn and then loses them. Thus, these planted monograms are best viewed in autumn or winter when the contrast between the specially chosen trees is most evident.