Andover Trees United commemorated the International Day of Peace yesterday by planting a tree at Harmony Woods.

The International Day of Peace, or Peace Day, is an annual commemoration of peace throughout the world, which takes place on September 21. As part of the day, the United Nations invites all nations and people to cease hostilities and to commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

This year, the theme is ‘Shaping Peace Together’.

In the UK, Andover Trees United has been the UK host of the UN Peace Day procession, which is organised by global youth organisation Roots and Shoots, founded by world-leading primatologist Dr Jane Goodall. In addition to planting the tree, the group hung paper doves, with messages of local children written on them, while a large dove puppet made of sheets was held up by the group’s members.

Andover Trees United’s leader, Wendy Davis, said: “Unlike previous years, we can’t invite the hundreds of children and VIPs up to the woodland and to comply with Covid-19 restrictions we are having to do things a little differently.

“We are delighted to be joined by Maylis and Jess, two students from Winton Community Academy who, determined not to see this important day pass unnoticed, will be heading to the wood before school to take part in a small procession and tree planting ceremony.

“The tree being planted will honour lives lost and changed and the services given by so many across the world to help and care for those in need during the pandemic.

“In these difficult times of physical distancing, this International Day of Peace will be dedicated to fostering dialogue and collecting ideas. The world will be invited to unite and share thoughts on how to weather this storm, heal our planet and change it for the better. Even though we may not be able to stand next to each other, we can still dream together."