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Help the National Trust build a new woodland near Dunham Massey

In a heartfelt endeavour to commemorate lost loved ones and honour their enduring influence, Dame Judi Dench is championing the launch of Celebration Day—a national event that encourages the public to come together and celebrate those who have shaped our lives.

This year, Dame Judi Dench is specifically endorsing the planting of trees as a poignant and environmentally conscious way to pay tribute to cherished individuals.

The renowned actress has long held a profound love for trees and believes they provide a living legacy that nurtures fond memories while contributing to a healthier planet.

The National Trust, known for its dedication to preserving nature, history, and beauty, is actively participating in Celebration Day by offering individuals the opportunity to donate £5 towards planting a tree in dedication of a loved one.

The funds raised from the National Trust’s Plant a Tree campaign, running from May 23rd to June 11th, will be utilised to create a new woodland near Dunham Massey in Greater Manchester.

The profound impact of planting trees in memory of dearly departed ones resonates deeply with Dame Judi Dench.

She shares, “It’s no secret that I adore trees, and I personally plant a tree every time a close friend or relative passes away.

“I have a whole wood of friends and family. I love to see the tree grow in celebration of their lives, and it provides a living legacy that brings back fond memories, as well as helping the environment.

“This is why I am delighted to launch the Celebration Day tree planting initiative with the National Trust, to encourage people to plant a tree for a lost loved one. Trees are part of my extended family, and I implore people to get involved on the 28th of May.”

According to a survey conducted by Celebration Day, an overwhelming 72% of respondents expressed their interest in planting a tree to remember a loved one. The reasons cited ranged from the desire to protect the environment to finding solace and peace in the presence of trees.

Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust, speaks from personal experience, having contemplated ways to honour the memories of her own parents. She reflects, “Leaving a living legacy in the form of planting a tree is something that comes up time and again.

“I think the fact that in planting a tree we are creating a better world for future generations, as well as marking a special life, is very powerful for people.”

The creation of the dedicated woodland through the National Trust’s Plant a Tree campaign for Celebration Day will serve as a testament to cherished lives and a lasting contribution to the environment.

The impact of each planted tree extends far beyond its physical presence.

Over its lifetime, a single tree has the potential to remove one tonne of carbon dioxide from the air, contributing to combatting climate change. Furthermore, the woodland habitat nurtured by these trees will provide a vital sanctuary for diverse wildlife.

John Deakin, Head of Trees and Woodland at the National Trust, recognises the symbolic significance of trees in the cycle of life and death.

Delighted by the overwhelming response of 72% of the nation favouring tree planting as a way to celebrate loved ones, he highlights Dunham Massey as home to a remarkable collection of veteran trees, including a majestic oak that has stood for over 500 years.

He marvels at the thought that the trees planted during Celebration Day may still flourish and thrive even after 500 more years, serving as enduring tributes to the lives they commemorate.

Joining Dame Judi Dench in supporting Celebration Day’s noble cause are esteemed personalities such as Arlene Phillips, dedicating a tree in honour of her dear friend Len Goodman, and Alex and Olivia Bowen, who will plant a tree to commemorate their friend Joe.

Celebration Day made its debut in 2022, uniting a diverse array of individuals including Alexander Armstrong, Frankie Dettori, Prue Leith, Richard E Grant, and Stephen Fry. These luminaries came together to share stories, reminisce fondly, and celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with them.

This year, the focus is on creating a new woodland near Dunham Massey, a location carefully chosen by the National Trust. The dedicated rangers, experts, and volunteers will work tirelessly from autumn onwards, ensuring the optimal conditions for planting each tree.

The resulting woodland will serve as a poignant testament to the enduring legacies of loved ones.

The initiative holds immense significance, as each tree planted represents a powerful gesture of remembrance. It not only fosters personal reflection but also contributes to a sustainable future.

By participating in Celebration Day’s tree planting initiative, individuals are actively engaging in environmental stewardship and leaving a positive impact on generations to come.

The National Trust, as a charitable organisation, relies on the generosity of its members, visitors, and donors to continue its mission of preserving nature, beauty, and history for the benefit of all. The Plant a Tree campaign exemplifies the trust’s commitment to this vision, emphasising the interconnectedness between honouring loved ones and safeguarding the environment.

Dame Judi Dench’s impassioned plea to the public to get involved on the 28th of May serves as a rallying call for individuals to embrace Celebration Day’s tree planting initiative. By dedicating a tree to a lost loved one, participants can forge a living connection to their memories and contribute to the creation of a lasting legacy.

To learn more about Celebration Day, gain inspiration, and access helpful advice, please visit the official website by clicking here.

Join Dame Judi Dench, the National Trust, and a host of passionate individuals in celebrating the lives that have shaped us and in creating a greener, more meaningful future through the act of planting a tree.

Together, we can ensure that the memories of our loved ones live on, intertwined with the majestic beauty of nature.

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