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Tree planting event to celebrate loved-ones helps spruce up local park

Tree planting event to celebrate loved-ones helps spruce up local park


Families and friends came together to celebrate their loved-ones 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 opening weekend of National Tree Week (24 November – 2 December) and marked the beginning of the tree planting season.

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. Families said they were celebrating everything from their child’s birth, to wedding anniversaries and the life of a loved-one.

Almost 200 people planted trees at Bartley Park in Totton, choosing one of 13 native tree species, while children enjoyed designing woodland pendants and special leaf messages with the National Park Authority’s rangers.

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.

Sharon Flood from Lyndhurst attended with her daughter and said: ‘We both enjoyed this wonderful experience despite the rain, and felt it was a lovely way to remember a loved one, in our case Elenor’s grandparents. It will be somewhere we can come to for quiet time to reflect. We also love the idea of planting a tree to aid the environment and wildlife in our neighbourhood.’

Karen Miles, from Totton, said: ‘I had previously planted a tree in 2004 on a similar scheme in Southampton to celebrate my son’s birth. When I saw this advertised on the National Park Authority’s Facebook page I immediately wanted to plant a tree in memorial of my mother in law who passed away in November 2015.

‘She lived in Woodlands for over 50 years so the idea, timing and tree location was very fitting. Something that will be there for years to come and to know when we drive past or visit, there is something there living in her name. A really lovely scheme and lots of people who saw our Facebook pictures commented that they would like to do similar in the future. Well done NFNPA!’

Nik Gruber, New Forest National Park Authority Senior Tree Officer, said: ‘This is one of my favourite events to run as it’s an amazing opportunity to bring families and friends together to celebrate a special person or life event, and it helps communities create woodland spaces for future generations to enjoy. It was great to see so many people come along to plant their tree and share their stories.’

Totton & Eling Town Councillor Caroline Rackham said: ‘The tree planting was a wonderful day both in bringing so many people to plant their trees, but also creating a wildlife space and woodland for the future. It’s so good to see the National Park Authority and Totton & Eling Town Council working together to create a fabulous experience and resource for the future.’

The Family Trees event received support from Totton & Eling Town Council, Waitrose Community Matters, Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme and Christopher Hoare Tree Services.

To be first to hear about any plans for a similar event in 2019 sign up at


Notes to photo editor:

Sharon Flood and her daughter planting their tree at this year’s Family Tree event at Bartley Park, Totton. Additional photos of the day are available at

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:
Beki Mole
Communications Assistant
Tel: 01590 646639

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