Picture shows: Lin Hawthorne, Rosalind-Forbes Adam, Alison Hunter, Stephen Coffey and Bill MacPherso

Member Article

Felix Dennis honoured at pioneering North Yorkshire woodland

The environmental legacy of Felix Dennis, one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs, poets and planter of trees, was honoured this week at a North Yorkshire community woodland.

Founder of the Heart of England Forest charity, Felix Dennis, who died in June last year, was a strong supporter of the pioneering Three Hagges Jubilee Wood at Escrick, near York.

As a result the Hagge Woods Trust, which owns the wood, has named a copse, Felix Copse, in his memory.

Alison Hunter, Trustee of the Heart of England Forest charity, visited Felix Copse, accompanied by Head Forester Stephen Coffey to see how the copse – and the woodland – were progressing.

Rosalind Forbes Adam, chair of the Trust, commented: “Felix Dennis liked the idea of our project to develop our wood into a thriving community woodland and supported us in early days. We were honoured by this valuable support and absolutely delighted that Alison and Stephen have strengthened our association by visiting us.”

“Felix Copse is a very special part of our wood, which is planted with small-leaved Lime and English Oak and features our new interpretation board, which is a guide to our wood.

“Felix’s vision for the Heart of England Forest is to create a new native woodland spanning 30,000 acres in the Midlands and with over 1 million trees already planted the project will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the environmental and ecological landscape for generations to come.” said Mrs Forbes Adam.

Alison Hunter said: “We are thrilled by the progress made by Three Hagges in such a short space of time and especially honoured to have a copse dedicated in the memory of Felix, which he would have loved. We are busy continuing Felix’s dream of creating the largest native broadleaf forest in England and we are delighted that our association with Three Hagges continues to flourish.”

Lin Hawthorne, Project Manager of Three Hagges, explained: “Our new Interpretation Board explains the careful design of our wood-meadow ecosystem which we believe, with the huge variety of species that have been introduced, will attract a phenomenal variety of wildlife.”

The wildlife at Three Hagges is being monitored by a team of professional scientists as well as the community under the auspices of Citizen Science.

Altogether there are 12 copses in Three Hagges Jubilee Wood, including Bettys Copse in honour of the tremendous support from Bettys of Harrogate which has enabled the Trust to set up a nursery to extend the wood’s wildflower species; the Jubilee Copse in memory of the Queens Diamond Jubilee in 2012 when the wood was started; and the Peterken Meadow in honour of the charity’s Patron, Professor George Peterken OBE whose thinking has inspired developments at the wood-meadow.

Rosalind Forbes Adam added: “As well as the interpretation board, signs and benches are going up around the wood which have been beautifully crafted by Ben Chester from Thirsk and we are very grateful to the Forestry Commission for 50% funding of these under a WIG (Woodland Improvement Grant) which we were awarded as a Community Woodland”.

“We always welcome volunteers. If you would like to join us please visit www.haggewoodstrust.org.uk for more detail.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Robert Beaumont .

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular Yorkshire & The Humber morning email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read