We are in a partnership with Taunton Deane Borough Council, Cheddon Fitzpaine and West Monkton Parish Councils to create The Somerset Wood, to commemorate the county’s fallen in World War One.
The 2018 centenary of the ending of the First World War was a special time of remembrance and reflection. It seemed only right that we, the Somerset generations of today, should do something special to mark the anniversary and recognise the sacrifice of our predecessors. Creating a wood achieves this in a uniquely physical and enduring way that future generations of Somerset people can relate to and enjoy.
Somerset Wood will cover 9.5 hectares (23 acres) and comprise 11,281 trees, to be planted over the next three winters. It will be located in the largely rural parish of Cheddon Fitzpaine to the north of Taunton and west of Monkton Heathfield. The first planting of 1,200 trees will be within the new Country Park that is also being planned.
The total of 11,281 trees was chosen to match the number of names listed in The Somerset Book of Honour, kept in the South Transept of Wells Cathedral. Compiled to record every Somerset man and woman who lost their life in The Great War, it covers those who were born in Somerset, those who were resident in Somerset at the time of their enlistment, and those who served in Somerset-based units.
Four trees have already been planted as part of the formal Dedication Ceremony presided over by the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset on 9 November. The ceremony was attended by senior local dignitaries and clergy, together with a substantial number of residents. The Mayor of Ypres in Belgium, the town at the heart of some of the worst fighting, also gifted a bag of local soil, which was scattered around the trees by a group of our local school-children.
The wood is intended to provide a haven of tranquillity and peace for people, flora and fauna. The Woodland Trust and the County Council are generously providing trees and advice. Financial support is required for future ongoing maintenance of the wood. Now all we need is to directly involve the people of our county in this flagship project.
We are looking to enlist community groups, schools, cadets, families, local individuals – anyone who can help plant the trees and give support to nurture, manage and enjoy the wood for the next hundred years and beyond. We also hope that Somerset businesses, Armed Forces units and not-for-profit organisations will become involved.
Will you help us create our Somerset Wood?
The plan is to plant as many trees as possible in Phase 1 during January and February 2019. A second phase will take place winter 2019 to 2020, with a third phase during the winter of 2020 to 2021, if necessary. If you can offer physical, organisational or financial assistance with the planting please contact:
Alan Hall, West Monkton Parish Council, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01823 410068
Jo Pearson, Clerk, Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Council, at email@example.com or on 01823 259478
If you would like to make a donation to help us create and maintain the wood, there are two ways you can pay:
- Paypal using this email address Somersetwood@somerset.gov.uk
- Cheque to Somerset County Council - please write ‘Somerset Wood’ on the back of the cheque - and include the code 113202 71300
Please send cheques to
Finance, Legal and Governance