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Leaders Romans Group Ltd

locationHockeridge and Pancake Woods

partnersRoyal Forestry Society

date15 Oct 2023

Description

In October 2023, a hardworking group of volunteers from Leaders Romans Group travelled from across the country to centuries-old Hockeridge and Pancake Woods in the Chilterns. Their day of volunteering consisted of planting 100 English oak trees; a guided walk of the woodland by John the Woodland Manager; and several seasonal maintenance activities: lopping, bracken bashing and popping an invasive species of black cherry tree. In 1952 Mary Wellesley, greatgreat-granddaughter to the Duke of Wellington, purchased the woods and set about rescuing them from neglect. She was a keen arborculturalist, and replanted with many ‘fashionable’ forestry trees including conifers, and also many non-native species which are still seen today. She was ‘ahead of her time’ in respect to the management techniques employed at the woods. In 1986 Mary Wellesley generously gifted the woods over to the Royal Forestry Society who still own and manage them to this day.

To mark 40 years of Leaders, Donna from LRG planted a juniper specimen tree. This will grow next to a deodar cedar planted by LRG last year. In time, they will grow to become part of an avenue of trees. Juniper, a much loved evergreen, is a cosy home for wildlife as well as a gin-drinker’s delight. Extremely hardy, the dedoar cedar is a large evergreen conifer whose fragrant wood can be burned as insect-repelling incense or distilled into a popular essential oil. So far the Leaders Romans Group partnership has helped plant 26,550 trees with 1,700 more trees going in the ground soon. They are also supporting a multitude of other projects on land and at sea local to their brands and branches around the country in collaboration with several other important wildlife charities. These projects include kelp, oyster and wildflower restoration as well as some green projects in local schools.

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