A Centenary Wood in the north west’s Faughan Valley was in the spotlight thanks to a visit from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
With The Princess Royal as patron, the Woodland Trust’s Centenary Woods project will see four flagship woods created – one each in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales – to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Northern Ireland’s Brackfield Wood sits by the banks of the beautiful River Faughan, not far from the city of Londonderry. Still in its infancy, the wood will be home to 40,000 native trees – a respectful and flourishing tribute to those lives lost, from across the island of Ireland, during the war.
Guests made their mark by planting 100 saplings marking 100 years since the end of the First World War in November 1918. Her Royal Highness planted the final of the bunch – a flourishing oak.
The ceremonial planting came hot on the heels of Remembrance Day, which annually remembers those who sacrificed so much in the two world wars and other conflicts.
A recently installed poetry trail also took centre stage. Eight stone sculptures, each carved with lines of poetry, are now strategically placed and waiting to lead visitors into and through the woodland,finishing at the riverside.
The poignant lines are taken from Dr Sam Burnside’s poetry collection By Brackfield Bawn: On being in Brackfield Memorial Woods . One of the poems, now etched in stone, reads: It is said / A man dies twice / When he stops breathing / And when he is forgotten.