The first trees of the Heroes Wood project have taken root in Debdale Park to create a memorial woodland ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
Heroes Wood is a project created by City of Trees, an environmental charity who first gained funding for their idea through our Community Soups. Their memorial woodland project was officially unveiled with 19 oak trees lining the pathway towards a seating area at Debdale Park Gorton.
The memorial area pays tribute to those who served their country during WW1, and in all armed conflicts since. The unveiling took place ahead of Remembrance Day, and formed part of the WW1 Centenary Events, which are taking place to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Eddy Newman was in attendance to oversee the proceedings with attendees from the Royal British Legion, veterans, local residents as well as pupils from local school Wright Robinson College.
There were hymns, prayers, and military music from a bugler who heralded the start of a minutes’ silence.
Those in attendance also helped to re-sow the poppy wildflower ‘trench’ which will frame the edge of the woodland, distinguishing the site from the rest of the park.
Pete Stringer, project manager with City of Trees, explained how pleased he was to see their vision turn into a reality:
"We’re proud to have created Greater Manchester’s first ever memorial woodland, and what we hope is a fitting tribute to all those how have lost their lives or been affected by armed conflict.
“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support of individuals, local groups and companies who have dug deep to make Heroes Wood happen.
"Today's launch was just the first phase of the Heroes Wood project. We've still got some way to go yet but we've had a lot of support from organisations such as One Manchester, and we've all put our time into making this project a reality".
The next phase of the project is due to take place in the new year and will see even more trees planted around the site and will involved information boards created by local school children who are being taught about the events of WW1.
For more information on this project, or to find out about how your own project can receive funding please get in touch by emailing email@example.com.