Tree planting event declared big success


Published Tuesday 1 December 2015

Families came together to celebrate their loved ones last weekend by helping to plant a community woodland in the New Forest.

The Family Trees event was run by the New Forest National Park Authority to mark its 10th anniversary and saw more than 300 people plant trees at Jubilee Fields in Sway at the start of National Tree Week.

People had the chance to plant one of six native tree species, while children enjoyed making ‘tree wands’ with the National Park Authority’s rangers. Every group that took part in the tree planting received a free personalised certificate as a memento, dedicated to someone special in their life. Families said they were celebrating everything from their child’s birth, to wedding anniversaries and the life of a loved-one.

Trees and woodlands are a key feature of the natural beauty of the New Forest and they also make an important contribution to the appearance of towns and villages within the area. As the Family Trees woodland grows and matures it will provide a legacy for future generations and provide a lasting memory of a loved-one.


Naomi Pickett from Southampton (above) planted a tree as part of the event and said: ‘Our baby Rory was born prematurely in March, but sadly he died the same day. We had a tree planted for our eldest son Toby so when I saw the opportunity to plant one for Rory I signed up. Rory was cremated and we have his ashes at home so it is nice to have a lasting tribute to our baby boy.

‘The day itself was very well organised and Toby enjoyed looking at the trees to choose one (he went for Hazel). The jubilee playing fields is a lovely setting and we'll be back to see how the tree is growing. Having something to mark Rory's life is really comforting, particularly in the run up to Christmas.’

Graeme Todd from Lymington attended with his family and said: ‘We were able to choose three saplings and planted them with the help of the National Park Authority’s support team. My daughter enjoyed it so much she then decided she would run back and get another one! She is also the proud owner of a tree wand from the day and received a certificate that is being stuck on her wall.’

Barry Rickman, Sway Parish Councillor and New Forest National Park Authority member said: ‘This was a wonderful event, bringing together people from across the New Forest to celebrate friends and relations, while helping to create a new community woodland.

‘I was very pleased that Sway was chosen as the location for the first Family Trees event. It was great to see people of all ages, from young families to senior citizens, come to our village to take part.’

The Family Trees event received support from Sway Parish Council, Wessex Tree Surgeons, Keffen Plant Hire and Andy Wilson-Lee, with trees donated by The Woodland Trust.

To be first to hear about any plans for a similar event in 2016 sign up at


Notes to photo editor:

A family enjoying themselves at the Family Trees event.

Notes to editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit to find out more

Media Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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