Help plant a wildlife space to celebrate a loved one

One of the families who took part in the 2016 family trees event web

Published Tuesday 17 October 2017

Families are invited to celebrate a birth, marriage or life of a relative with the planting of a community wildlife space in the New Forest.

Last year over 300 people planted trees at Ashurst and Colbury Recreation Ground last December, choosing one of 13 native tree species in the event run by the New Forest National Park Authority.

Registration is free and open to all, with the tree and hedge planting taking place at St Nicholas’ Churchyard in Brockenhurst on Saturday 2 December. Anyone who registers will receive a free personalised certificate as a memento, even if they cannot attend the planting day.

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

St Nicholas’ Churchyard is famous for being home to the grave of Brusher Mills, a New Forest folk hero because of his unusual occupation as a snake catcher during the 19th century. A marble headstone to mark his final resting place was paid for by villagers and can still be found in the churchyard.

The churchyard is also home to around 100 graves of soldiers including 93 New Zealand, one Australian and three Indians. These men were amongst the thousands of casualties of the First World War brought from France for treatment in the wartime Brockenhurst Hospital.

Senior Tree Officer Nik Gruber from the New Forest National Park Authority said: ‘Following the success of our second Family Trees event, we are delighted to be running it again in another great location. St Nicholas’ Churchyard in Brockenhurst is a lovely spot to create a space that will enhance the existing wildlife and trees, and provide a legacy for family members to remember. 

‘We are excited to be able to unveil a new carved wooden bench for the site on the day, made from the trunk of a fallen oak tree from the churchyard. We are grateful for the support of Brockenhurst Parish Council and Tesco Bags of Help and Waitrose Community Matters schemes.’

Brockenhurst Parish Council Chairman Peter Wales said: ‘We're pleased that the churchyard will be the site for this year’s Family Trees event as it is full of local history. Remembering loved-ones and marking important life events, whilst creating a community wildlife space for everyone to enjoy ensures that special memories and the Forest are cherished for generations to come. It’s going to be an uplifting day for all those involved and I hope this year’s event is as successful as the last.’

The Family Trees project is supported by Brockenhurst Parish Council, Waitrose Community Matters, Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme and Wessex Tree Surgeons. 

To reserve your place for free visit  


Notes to photo editor:

One of the families who took part in the 2016 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

About Tesco Bags of Help

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative in hundreds of regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 390 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public voted in store from 27 February 2016 until 6 March 2016 on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards.

Find out more on the Bags of Help website at

Media Contact:
Beki Mole, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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