Somerset Wood: Help plant the trees please

Volunteers looking for a healthy start to 2019 are being urged to join the first big tree-planting initiative for the Somerset Wood.

The first batch of 1,200 broad-leaved trees will be delivered by The Woodland Trust in the first two weeks of 2019 and organisers want to get them in the ground before the end of February.

A second phase will take place in winter 2019/20, with a third phase in the winter of 2020/21 if needed – creating a living memorial to the County’s Fallen from World War One.

Anyone with an interest in burning calories for the good cause can get involved and contact West Monkton or Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Councils which are coordinating the volunteer effort.

The Somerset Wood project is a joint partnership between Taunton Deane Borough Council, Somerset County Council, and Cheddon Fitzpaine and West Monkton Parish Councils.

Located in the largely rural parish of Cheddon Fitzpaine to the north of Taunton and west of Monkton Heathfield, 14,000 trees will eventually be planted to create a community wood in honour of the 11,281 Somerset residents who died in World War One.

Covering 23 acres, the wood will be a place for wildlife and peace within a planned Country Park that will be an integral part of Taunton’s Garden Town status.
For more information on how to get involved, contact:
• Alan Hall, West Monkton Parish Council, at alanhall@westmonkton.net or on 07811 321638
• Jo Pearson, Clerk, Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Council, at cheddon@live.co.uk or on 07891 529809

Further details about the Somerset Wood project and how to support it by volunteering to plant trees or making a donation towards the cost of creating and maintaining the wood can be found on the County Council website:
http://www.somerset.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/countryside/the-somerset-wood/

The ceremonial naming of the wood took place in November, led by HM’s Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Mrs Anne Maw. It included a short Service of Dedication and Blessing conducted by the Archdeacon of Taunton, the Venerable Simon Hill, on behalf of The Bishop of Bath and Wells.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
• TDBC Public & Media Relations Office 01823 219772, or
• Somerset County Council Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

Notes to editors

Photos are available upon request of the Somerset Wood official dedication held in November 2018

Donations to the Somerset Wood project can be made in two ways:
• 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 :
Cashier, Accounts Receivable, Finance, Floor A1E, County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY

The two fields which will make up part of the Wood and Country Park have recently been purchased by TDBC from the Crown Estate. This is part of the Estate’s policy of enabling community benefit where they have housing development.

West Monkton and Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Councils have produced a joint Neighbourhood Plan which includes an aspiration to oversee the establishment and
management of the Country Park which will be in shared ownership with Taunton Deane. The parishes are assisting in the planning of the wood and have made a generous commitment to oversee the management of the Country Park.