Date issued: 26 October 2018
Colchester Borough Council is inviting the public to help create a new woodland to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1.
The woodland, which will provide a living memorial to those who lost their lives in the Great War, is set to include a mix of native tree species including birch, hazel and alder, and will be planted in a dedicated area in Lower Castle Park, on 24 and 25 November, to coincide with the start of National Tree Planting Week.
Members of the public are invited to join in this very special commemoration through a minimum donation of £10 to plant a tree, with proceeds being donated to the Royal British Legion.
Sponsors will be able to dedicate their tree to an individual or group and can choose to hang a small laminated picture or letter from its branches to make it even more personal.
Each tree will also come with an official commemorative certificate that will record the details of any dedication. A record of all the trees and dedications will then be preserved in the Borough Archives.
The Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Peter Chillingworth, will plant the first tree during a special ceremony on 24 November and the Bishop of Colchester, Roger Morris, will dedicate the wood on the final day of planting.
Mayor Chillingworth said: “I am immensely pleased that we will be marking National Tree Planting Week by creating such a prominent and poignant tribute to those who fought and died a century ago.
“Once planted, the wood will stand as a living memorial to the local men and women who served in the Great War – many of whom never returned having made the ultimate sacrifice to secure the freedom we all take for granted today.
“Every tree purchased will combine to serve as a lasting tribute to those who fell and ensure the sacrifices they made are remembered for generations to come.”
Two hundred trees will be planted in total, to allow for thinning as the trees mature and to encourage greater diversity of flora and fauna.
Ownership of the trees will remain with Colchester Borough Council, who will manage the woodland appropriately. This includes removing any diseased or dead trees.
To ensure a diversity of trees, contributors will be allocated a sapling on the day and be given a one-hour time slot to plant it. The ground will be already prepared for the trees and assistance with the planting will be available on the day if required. Arrangements can also be made for anyone who would like to dedicate a tree but is unable to attend the planting.
It will also be possible for individuals or groups to sponsor seating around the woodland. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
To sponsor a tree and select a date and time for planting, please visit: www.colchester.gov.uk/tommieswood.