A native woodland of 175 trees, planted in Dunorlan Park in March 2014 by Sodexo Horticulture Services to mark Perennial’s 175th anniversary, was officially opened by Deputy Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Len Horwood. The informal ceremony marked the unveiling of a new interpretation board for the woodland listing all those who have trees dedicated to them. Trees were purchased in memory of loved ones making this woodland a truly personal place for the people of Tunbridge Wells.
Speaking at the event, Cllr Len Horwood said: “Having been involved in the redevelopment of this park for many years it is a local landmark that is close to my heart. The Perennial Anniversary Woodland is a wonderful new addition and is maturing nicely to provide a calm, tranquil place for people from all walks of life in Tunbridge Wells and beyond to enjoy for many years to come. We are indebted to all those who work tirelessly to care for our green spaces, including the brilliant local team from Sodexo Horticulture Services and in turn to Perennial for being their safety net in times of need.”
Also present at the event were some of the people who purchased trees in memory of loved ones as well as James Lloyd, Head of Horticultural Services and Paul Donnelly, Business Development Director at Sodexo, both of whom helped plant the trees in 2014 (see photo below). James Lloyd said: “Sodexo Horticulture Services employs a large number of horticulturists across the UK to maintain and care for public green spaces including Dunorlan Park here in Tunbridge Wells. We’re proud supporters of Perennial, the only charity dedicated to providing extra help and support to our workforce should they ever need it. This woodland has been planted to mark Perennial’s 175th anniversary; let’s hope it’s still going strong in another 175 years.”
Peter Newman, CEO of Perennial, was on hand to thank all those present for their support of the woodland and to formally recognise the contribution Sodexo has made to Perennial. He said: “Although this project began before my time here at Perennial I can see today that a lot of love and dedication has made it happen. A huge thank you must go to Sodexo Horticulture Services who initiated it, donated and planted the trees and who continue to care for them for us all to enjoy. Thanks too of course go to all those who have purchased trees in memory of loved ones – there is something quite special and selfless about planting a tree that is unlikely to mature in your own lifetime but which will undoubtedly bring pleasure for generations to come. Perennial exists to look after the people who care for our parks, trees, gardens and green spaces. We hope none of you here ever need us, but rest assured that we are ready to help you if you ever do.”
To find out more about Perennial and the range of free and confidential services it offers all those working in and retired from horticulture, visit perennial.org.uk or call 0800 093 8543.