Go the extra mile to mark the anniversary of the First World War

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The Woodland Trust, together with Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary Peters, is calling on local people and visitors to play a hands-on part in bringing a special new Centenary Wood to life. Saturday 7 November, from 12pm to 3pm, is the date for the diary.

Set in the heart of the picturesque Faughan Valley, just outside Londonderry, the recently named Brackfield Wood is one of four flagship woods taking shape across the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War. In total, the Trust’s ambitious Centenary Woods project will see millions of trees planted in recognition of the millions of lives lost and affected by the war.

Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity, in the run up to Remembrance Day, for people to make their mark by planting trees at Brackfield Wood, still very much in its infancy.

“By the end of the project, our aim is to have 40,000 native saplings planted here, with swathes of glorious wildflowers including poppies. The trees will be a living, growing and respectful tribute to the people from Ireland who played a part in the war: the soldiers, their families and loved ones. It’s estimated that as many as 40,000 lost their lives, with countless others affected.”

Woodland Trust supporter Dame Mary Peters CH, DBE will make a personal contribution by taking part in a tree-planting ceremony at 1.45pm.

Dame Mary added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to plant a tree in remembrance of those who played a part in the First World War. In contrast to the loss and destruction, this will be a place of great beauty and tranquility: a place where people can walk, relax and reflect and a haven in which wildlife can thrive.

“We do hope that as many people as possible: adults and children, local people and visitors, will join us and make a huge contribution through the simple act of tree planting.”

Brackfield Wood stretches by the banks of the beautiful River Faughan, just off the Glenshane Road, approximately seven miles outside the city. Limited parking is available at a lay-by signed Brackfield Picnic Area and at the ruins of Brackfield Bawn. Free refreshments will be provided. Please wear stout footwear or welly boots.

The First World War Centenary Woods project is supported by the Trust’s lead partner Sainsbury’s, helping plant millions of native trees to commemorate the First World War.

For further information contact Michelle McCaughtry at the Woodland Trust on 0343 770 5750 or michellemccaughtry@woodlandtrust.org.uk To take a closer look at the Centenary Woods project, including a new short film, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/fwwni