Friday, 24 December 2010
Spirit of Christmas is overflowing in Thorpe Woods
Thanks to Paul Andrew, local resident, regular walker of the woods and ‘Friend’ of Thorpe Woodlands, there is a real sense of Christmas magic in Belmore woods this year. Paul, like so many others, loves the woods and wanted to do something to raise their profile this Christmas, so he came up with the great idea of inviting everyone who wanted to show concern for their future, to hang a decoration on a particular, appropriately shaped Holly tree in Belmore woods. People’s response has been wonderful and within days the tree has become laden with messages of affection and support, baubles with children’s names upon them, and decorations galore from both those who regularly walk in the woods and others who have come in especially to show they care.
Paul has said that: ‘for every bauble we get in support we will be hanging a fat ball (obviously out of the netting) in the woods to help the birds during this tough time’, so all will gain.
I have been going daily to the woods to take photos of the tree as it’s taken shape, and every time I have had the treat of seeing the look of surprise and delight on unsuspecting walkers faces when they come upon the tree for the first time, most declaring they will be back the next day with their own contribution. This tree has become the heart of the woods and a symbol of the local communities love for the woodlands, people gather to read the messages, discuss with one another the plight of this much treasured place, and to wish one another a merry Christmas, with the added hope of, and ‘May these woods be here for many Christmases to come’ (I quote from one of the messages tied to a bauble). It is impossible, amid all this festive goodwill and community spirit, not to feel the Ebenezer Scrooge like spectre of the Thorpe and Felthorpe Trustees hanging over both the local people and woodlands, and like Dickens’ immortal story, it is their heartless greed and meanness of spirit which casts such a dark shadow over so many lives, but sadly, unlike this moral fictional tale, few have hope that the Trustees will come to see the error of their ways and choose to do the decent thing, and therefore it is up to us, the community, to fight for the woodlands future survival.
But I have no intention of ending this blog entry on such a note, far from it, I want to share with you an email I received from another Thorpe Woodlands ‘Friend’ on Tuesday night:
Just to say the tree looks beautiful, even in the moonlight! My boyfriend proposed to me by the holly tree tonight, so we are officially engaged.... we have left a note on the tree :)
It was a special evening for us, being winter solstice, the lunar eclipse and the anniversary of our first meeting all rolled into one, and what better setting in the snow, under the moonlight, by the pretty holly tree in our woods !
Thanks for your continuing work to help save our woods.
You couldn’t get a more magical or ‘feel good factor’ than that, and in so many ways Lynda’s message sums up what this time of the year and our fight to save the woods is all about.
So congratulations to John and Lynda and a happy Christmas to all our supporters and may the New Year be a good one for man, tree and animal alike.