Retirement Village boss puts down roots – 750 times!

A photo of Jeremy Walford planting a tree

A new woodland has been created on the outskirts of Middleton St George – thanks to the region’s only retirement village.

And so committed to the cause is Jeremy Walford – MD of Middleton Hall Retirement Village – that he planted many of 750 trees himself!

“In 30 years’ time, this will be a well-managed, mature woodland area and I love the idea of knowing that what we have done will be around to be enjoyed by future generations as well as the current residents of Middleton Hall,” said Jeremy.

“I also hope to be able to walk among the trees when I am older and think ‘We created this’.”

The wood will also have personal meaning for all members of the Middleton Hall staff as each was given a tree within it as a gift from Jeremy. In addition, residents, families and friends of the retirement village can sponsor a tree or group of trees.

Comprising a mixture of fast-growing birch and ash, slow-growing oak and Scots pine plus rowan, alder, beech and cherry trees, the woodland will form part of a circular nature walk linked to Middleton Hall’s 20-acres of grounds. The path for the 120 residents as well as their families and visitors will link the new planting to existing copses and a field, enabling walkers to experience a variety of landscapes and have different aspects of the surrounding countryside.

“It fits in really nicely with our aim to provide as many recreational opportunities as possible for our village community,” explained Jeremy.

“By this summer, there should be something for everyone here to enjoy, whatever their fitness level.”

The project was made possible thanks to a Woodland Creation grant from the Forestry Commission.

Schemes have to meet national and regional priorities and be of public benefit, because, for instance, it enhances the landscape, provides a recreational area and/or creates woodland habitat for wildlife.

The Forestry Commission’s Woodland Officer for the North East, Rachel Sparks, said that the Middleton Hall scheme, with its composition of native tree and shrub species, will contribute to the biodiversity value of the area.

She added: “New native woodland can enhance the habitat of many woodland bird and animal species throughout its progression through various stages from young trees to mature woodland.

“Middleton Hall’s new woodland will also expand the existing mature native woodland on the property”