Can you help create A First World War centenary woodland in Peterborough?

The vital contribution that Peterborough’s past residents made to the First World War effort will be recognised with the planting of 1,914 trees in a specially created centenary woodland.

Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for communities and environment capital, councillor Nigel North, came up with the idea as a way for the city to mark the First World War centenary. He got in touch with Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) and they agreed to support the project.

The city council and PECT are now looking for volunteers to help plant the 1,914 native woodland trees on Saturday November 15 between 10am and 4pm.

The trees, which are being funded by the Woodland Trust, will be planted on land between Swanspool and Raleigh Way in Ravensthorpe with a path through the middle.


Councillor North said: “The tree planting is a fitting and lasting way for people now and in the future to recognise and remember the sacrifices made by hundreds of men and women from Peterborough.

“Peterborough was greatly affected by the war. In 1914 the city had a population of around 30,000 people, of which 1,177 lost their lives. Around one in six of the city’s working age men did not return from the front. That is staggering to contemplate.

“If you can help plant some of the trees for us on November 15 please get in touch. Not only will you be helping to make our city even greener, you’ll also be making history by helping to create a woodland of remembrance.”

Already signed up to help with the tree planting are Major Mark Knight MBE, cadets from the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force and 200 squadron from the Army Reserve Centre on London Road. Children from local schools and playgroups, and city council and PECT staff will also be lending a hand.

Simon Belham from PECT said: “I am very pleased and excited to be managing and organising this centenary planting day in remembrance of the First World War.

“It’s a pleasure to work alongside Peterborough City Council, the Armed Forces, Councillor North and all the community volunteers that will be involved on the day.

“Our goal as part of Forest for Peterborough is to plant 183,000 trees by 2030. This is no small task but one I am very pleased to be involved in. Forest for Peterborough is helping to increase our city’s canopy tree cover and is increasing and creating new habitats for wildlife. Being a part of that makes me more focussed on helping to achieve the overall goal.”

If you would like to volunteer for the tree planting on November 15, contact Simon Belham on 07715 372432 or email

Spades will be provided on the day, however numbered are limited so if you have your own please bring it along.

PECT organises regular tree planting days which run from 10am to 4pm. They are open to the public and volunteers are always needed. The next plantings are scheduled for: 18 November, Hollies Farm, Castor; 26 November, Grange Farm, Wittering; 3 December, Hollies Farm, Castor; 13 December, Grange Farm, Wittering.

#ForestforPeterborough #PECT

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