ROOTED IN HISTORY
It’s another significant year for the ongoing work of the National Memorial Arboretum – a unique evolving woodland landscape, home to a vast collection of moving and powerful memorials
Although the National Memorial Arboretum opened 16 years ago in 2001, this year actually marks the 20th anniversary since the start of initial planting at the site. Two decades on, the public can enjoy free entry to a site that features more than 300 memorials, nestled amongst 30,000 trees.
Throughout this incredible natural landscape, you’ll find both British native species and specimen trees, from Far Eastern dogwood and tulip trees to Mediterranean cork oaks and black pines.
Elsewhere, the Arboretum’s police tribute, ‘The Beat’, is an avenue of London plane trees and horse chestnuts. Whether it’s a tribute to the victims of road traffic accidents, or trees representing the fallen of WW1, the woodland area you discover will mean something to someone, somewhere.
And this summer, the Arboretum is making maximum use of this outdoor space with its series of events commemorating 100 years since the Battle of Passchendaele. Visitors can even experience a replica trench installation, helping people learn more about the conditions endured by those who served.
The Arboretum will also host a Home Front Proms on 5 August – an evening of outdoor orchestral performances with a military band, fireworks and WWI-based drama. Be there for a summer’s evening of exploring life on the front line, life on the home front and an era of extensive social change.
As part of the commemorations, special WWI explorer backpacks will be available for children, while on-site costumed interpreters on key dates and a visitor art project will allow the public to learn even more about the battle.
The centenary programme will begin with a Remembrance Service on Monday 31 July, which will also feature a live stream of the International Service taking place at Tyne Cot cemetery in Belgium.