Volunteers help to shape England’s First World War Centenary Wood
Hundreds of volunteers have helped to prepare Langley Vale Wood for the World War I centenary
We are creating a First World War Centenary Wood near Epsom Downs, Surrey to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War in 1918. But this isn’t just another wood…it includes a Regiment of Trees (to commemorate Lord Kitchener’s inspection of 20,000 troops which took place nearby in 1915), a Cherry Avenue and a community orchard.
The site was an arable farm before the Trust bought it in 2014 and this amazing project is being managed by Site Manager, Simon Bateman and Assistant Site Manager, Kate Harvey. Kate has been extremely busy working with hundreds of volunteers to plant thousands of trees on the old farmland, whilst Simon has been battling to gain planning permission for a car park and visitor centre. The annual tree planting season starts before Christmas and finishes at the end of February and each year more and more trees have been planted. There are now over 100,000 young trees on site, which is absolutely amazing.
New areas include 12 sponsored groves, the important Regiment of Trees and the Cherry Avenue. Next season (2018-19) will be even busier as we hope to plant 48 new groves, including Jutland Wood (to commemorate the Battle of Jutland) and our Seeds to Tree saplings which have been lovingly grown by volunteers over the past two years. Some of the trees have been planted by our sponsors – staff from Sainsbury’s and Prudential got rather cold and muddy whilst helping us last December. Kate was also joined by 400 local school children in February, who planted trees and learnt all about them.
Kate is hoping to hold another mass public planting day this winter – please get in touch if you would like to help her. Langley Vale Wood is really starting to take shape and this wouldn’t be possible without our fabulous volunteers. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has helped with this wonderful project. You’ve all done a fantastic job and helped to shape a special memorial for the future.
Contacts: Simon Bateman (Site Manager) and Kate Harvey (Assistant Site Manager)