Tree Planting at the National Memorial Arboretum

"Cold Winds and Showers" was the weather forecast for Tuesday 23rd May, when we were to plant our Civic Society tree at the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas, and it was exactly right. In spite of this, and the difficulty in finding the site, a good crowd of members of the Civic Society, and of the three other Societies who were tree planting, reached the Arboretum.

The trees planted were ornamental cherries, part of the Cherry Orchard in the Lichfield garden. Other local plant-names are also to be used in this area. Commander Childs, with his white surplice flapping around his wellington boots, performed a short service of dedication. Token spadefulls of earth were piled around the trees, photographs were taken and we were able to inspect the fine Civic Society plaque attached to our tree.

We admired the impressive Millenium Avenue, the Beat, commemorating police officers who had died in service, and the recently dedicated memorial to the Irish regiments. One needs a good deal of imagination to visualise the scene in twenty or fifty years time, when the carefully chosen trees begin to mature, but a tremendous amount has been achieved. Land has been drained, river banks strengthened, soil brought in and thousands of saplings planted.

The Chapel and Visitors Centre are well on the way to completion and should be open by the end of July. A pity we were too early for these: a hot cup of tea would have been very welcome; but it was good to show Civic Society support for this great venture.

Mary Lister
May 2000

The Lichfield Wood in the Arboretum

Photo - Roger Hockney, 2019