ROOTS OF REMEMBRANCE
THE WOODLAND TRUST IS PASSIONATE ABOUT PLANTING TREES TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE WHILE HONOURING THE PAST
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”