Farmer plants 100th war memorial wood

Widmerpool farmer Geoff Brooks (centre) at his new Great War memorial woodland with Claire Martin (Woodland Trust First World War project manager) and Andrew Jameson (Sainsbury's Great Place To Work representative) EMN-180506-110840001
Widmerpool farmer Geoff Brooks (centre) at his new Great War memorial woodland with Claire Martin (Woodland Trust First World War project manager) and Andrew Jameson (Sainsbury's Great Place To Work representative) EMN-180506-110840001
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Farmer Geoff Brooks (centre) in his woodland with Claire Martin (Woodland Trust), and Andrew Jameson, of sponsors Sainsbury’s

Geoff Brooks has planted 775 trees and shrubs, including oak, aspen, beech, Scots pine, blackthorn, hazel and dogwood, at Manor Farm.

He is one of the landowners across the nation who have got involved in the Woodland Trust scheme.

Mr Brooks’ family has farmed in the village for 100 years, ever since his father, Jack, was offered the tenancy rent-free for two years when he came home from serving in the Great War in France in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry as a horseman.

A bridge leads over a babbling brook into his new woodland which opens into a glade to reveal a striking statue of a British Tommy carved from oak by Nottinghamshire sculptor Peter Leadbeater.

Mr Brooks, who has also created half an acre of wildlflower meadow and put up owl boxes, said: “My father, like so many others, went through some very dark times in the war.

“He never spoke of it but you could tell it was always there.

“I saw an advert for the Woodland Trust’s First World War commemorative project and it really struck a chord with me.

“I’m really pleased with what we’ve created.

“It’s something quite special where we can come and pay tribute to those who fought for our country.”