A “tree from the trenches”
has been planted to complete Scotland’s First World War Centenary Wood, created as a living memorial to all who served. Volunteers and members of the armed forces began work at Dreghorn in Edinburgh in 2014, with 24,000 native trees planted across 23 hectares over the last four years. The final tree is a Verdun oak, descended from an acorn collected on the battlefield in France.
After the war, the mayor of Verdun, scene of some of the fiercest fighting, sent acorns from the battlefield to England and saplings were then sold to raise money for former servicemen.
The Woodland Trust tracked down some of these now mature trees and acorns were collected and grown on by inmates at HMP Doncaster. One of these saplings was planted as the final tree at Dreghorn Centenary Wood yesterday by a descendant of two brothers killed on the same day during the Battle of Ypres in 1917. Carol Evans, director of the Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “These new woods which have been created over these past four centenary years will stand as a living, growing thank you to everyone who lived through the conflict, from those who paid the highest price and their families, to the hard-working men and women off the battlefield.”