ROOTS OF RE­MEM­BRANCE

THE WOOD­LAND TRUST IS PAS­SION­ATE ABOUT PLANT­ING TREES TO PRE­PARE FOR THE FU­TURE WHILE HONOUR­ING THE PAST

Countryfile Magazine - - Discover -

The vil­lagers of Med­bourne in Le­ices­ter­shire are tree-plant­ing veter­ans. Over the last sev­eral years, lo­cals have gath­ered an­nu­ally to plant saplings from Wood­land Trust tree packs in Le­viathan Wood, cre­ated to com­mem­o­rate the Bat­tle of Trafal­gar. Since plant­ing their 5,000th tree, they’ve watched their ef­forts grow into thriv­ing new wood­land that ev­ery­one can en­joy.

Le­viathan Wood lies at the edge of the Nevill Holt es­tate in Le­ices­ter­shire. In 2005, the owner of the es­tate, David Ross, set aside 12 acres of land as part of a Wood­land Trust project to cre­ate new woods named af­ter war­ships of the Trafal­gar fleet. The Le­viathan was a 74-gun war­ship that took part in the bat­tle and had two of its crew killed and 22 in­jured.

Since the ini­tial plant­ing in 2005, the vil­lagers have nur­tured Le­viathan Wood, plant­ing more trees ev­ery year. Bryan Smith and his wife Lau­rie have lived in Med­bourne for most of their lives and or­gan­ise the plant­ing days. “There are owls, goldfinches, foxes, badgers, hares and lots of wild­flow­ers in the wood,” says Bryan. “It’s amaz­ing! The saplings, all Bri­tish na­tive broadleaf trees, were cho­sen to give year-round colour, and are part of the tree packs for com­mu­nity groups avail­able from the Wood­land Trust.”

Many peo­ple who were present at the orig­i­nal plant­ing came to see the mile­stone tree planted, in­clud­ing Tom Price. “I do it be­cause of the en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits,” he says. “Ev­ery tree we plant helps with car­bon off­set, and we’ve cre­ated an area that’s used and loved by the whole com­mu­nity.”

“THE WOOD IS USED AND LOVED BY THE WHOLE COM­MU­NITY”

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