Tree planting event declared big success

Family Trees 2016

Published Thursday 8 December 2016

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 during the closing weekend of National Tree Week (26 November – 4 December) and marked the beginning of the tree planting season.

Over 300 people planted trees at Ashurst and Colbury Recreation Ground, choosing one of 13 native tree species, while children enjoyed designing fairy doors 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 or a memorable event in their life. Drawing competition winner Isla Rainbow had her design featured on this year’s certificate and had the honour of planting the first tree. 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.

Family Trees 2016
Jessica Lock (above) from Southampton said: ‘We planted two trees, one for our son Jacob and the other for our friends’ little girl Bobbi. We saw the event advertised online and had never done anything like it before. We are really pleased to have something different to remember our son by and even though our friends couldn’t make it, it was lovely to be able to plant a tree on their behalf.’

Family Trees 2016
Graham Burgess (above) from Whitchurch attended with his family and said: ‘People who cared for each other used to plant two trees together, called a tryst planting. We planted two oak trees, one in celebration of my partner and the second commemorating Winston Churchill, marking 50 years since his death. The day was well organised and it was a wonderful chance to remember my partner and bring my family together to create a memory.’

Caroline Hubbard, Ashurst and Colbury Parish Chairman said: ‘The planting was a great success and a superb day for everyone involved. It brought together people from across the New Forest and beyond to celebrate family and friends, and help establish a new community woodland.

‘We were delighted that Ashurst and Colbury Recreation Ground was chosen as the site for this year’s planting. It was heart-warming to see people of all ages come together to create what will be a fantastic space for the community and future generations to enjoy.’

The Family Trees event received support from Ashurst and Colbury Parish Council and Wessex Tree Surgeons, with funding from Tesco Bags of Help.

To be first to hear about any plans for a similar event in 2017 sign up at


Notes to photo editor:

Drawing competition winner Isla Rainbow planting the first tree at this year’s Family Tree 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 Contacts:

Beki Mole, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646639


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