Derry woodland project honours WW1 soldiers from across Ireland

Young saplings at Brackfield Wood. (Picture By Michael Cooper Photography)
Young saplings at Brackfield Wood. (Picture By Michael Cooper Photography)

A special Centenary Wood Tree-Planting ceremony is to be held in Derry’s Faughan Valley on Saturday, November 11th, at 2.00 p.m.

The Woodland Trust’s Brackfield Wood, on the banks of the River Faughan is one of just four flagship woods being created in the UK in remembrance of the 100 th anniversary of the First World War.

The poignant ceremony will remember those from right across the island of Ireland who lost lives and loved ones during the war.

Afterwards, members of the public can make their own mark by planting a tree, or discover the hidden gems of Brackfield at a guided walk.

Brackfield Wood will be home to 40,000 native trees with swathes of wildflowers.

Patrick Cregg is the Woodland Trust’s director and said: “The trees, which will stand for generations to come, will be a living and growing tribute to the people of Ireland who played a part in the war: the soldiers, their families and loved ones.

“This will be a place of beauty and tranquillity where local people and visitors can relax and reflect. And it will be an important safe haven for the valley’s precious wildlife, which includes the red squirrel. We hope that local people and visitors will join us for this special occasion.”

The event is free of charge, but booking in advance is essential. Find out more and book a place at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/events or call 0330 333 3300.

The First World War Centenary Woods project is supported by the Trust’s lead partner, Sainsburys.

The other woods are at Langley Vale, Surrey, Dreghorn Woods, near Edinburgh and Coed Ffos Las in Wales.

As well as the four flagship woods created, many smaller community woods are being introduced and millions of trees planted across the UK to honour all those involved in the First World War.

The project is also aimed at connecting people to the natural world, whilst reminding them of the historical significance of the war.

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. Its key aims are to protect ancient woodland, which is rare, unique and irreplaceable; to restore damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life and to plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

The Trust has 50 woods in Northern Ireland in its care. It has produced the first-ever comprehensive record of Northern Ireland’s ancient woodland. Find out more at www.backonthemap.org.uk