Trees of Remembrance throughout Oxfordshire as November 11 approaches

More than 160 parishes across Oxfordshire are taking part in a “Trees of Remembrance” project as our communities prepare to mark the centenary of the Armistice of World War One on November 11.

Oxfordshire County Council in partnership with The Woodland Trust offered native species young saplings free of charge for planting in communities, along with an engraved plaque and stake to go in the ground.

Military communities based in the county helped in developing the project and the trees are intended to be an additional focus for local people during the 2018 remembrance events.

Proud to assist

Oxfordshire County Council Chairman Councillor Gill Sanders said: “It’s the wish of our military partners that the trees will be planted across many communities in the county to represent the legacy of World War One, not just in terms of the fallen soldiers but also those affected who returned to their families and the communities that absorbed the impact of a changed world. We are very proud to have been able to assist our Oxfordshire communities as the 100th anniversary approaches.”

The trees are native British species and are one year old “whips” supported by a spiral tree guard and canes. The Woodland Trust has kindly donated all trees free of charge under condition they are planted in remembrance and are accessible by the public once planted.

Trees are the responsibility of the Town or Parish to collect, plant and maintain – but Oxfordshire County Council will undertake to replace any tree that fails within six months of planting.

The plaque reads: “Planted on the Centenary of the Armistice in remembrance of all in this community whose lives were changed by World War One.”

Focal point for remembrance

Claire Martin, Programme Lead from the Woodland Trust, said: “We are proud to have inspired people across the country, as well as in Oxfordshire, to plant millions of trees in honour of those who lived and served in the First World War.“We’re proud to be playing a central role in the events taking place here locally. The saplings will grow and continue to be a focal point for remembrance in future years.”

Significant anniversary

Geoff Hall, the Clerk at Mollington Parish Council said: “We’re pleased to be joining such a large number of fellow parish councils in this scheme to plant saplings to mark this very significant anniversary. We’ll plant the tree in a prominent place in the village – and we’ll also be taking part in the beacon lighting scheme that is also being replicated across the country.”

A living reminder

Penny Aldridge, the Clerk at Bladon Parish Council, added: “We are thrilled to be part of the Trees of Remembrance project. Bladon was – and still is – only a small village and everyone was directly affected by the Great War. They suffered disproportionate losses of young men. But many of their descendants live here today, and we honour all those who gave so very much each year at our Remembrance Day Service.

"We are delighted that this centenary year our schoolchildren will also be helping plant a Remembrance Tree in our new Recreation Ground; a living reminder of the immense sacrifices made by the old Bladon families for its future generations.”

Armistice will be marked on Sunday, November 11 throughout Oxfordshire and the rest of the World.