Bench-marking a great legacy

If you head out to the willow huts in the Millennium Country Park, you’ll spot a beautiful new, hand-carved bench amongst the trees, which was unveiled this week in recognition of the work of our previous Volunteer Coordinator, Joan Ferguson.

“Joan first started to get involved with the Forest sometime around 1999. The Forest Centre was being constructed and we were planning our move into the building. It was clear we needed help. Joan was a vital part of those early days in the Forest Centre and her help and influence increased over the years. Without Joan I think the Forest would be a lesser place; fewer events would have happened and fewer people would have been involved. For over a decade, for many people, especially Forest Volunteers, Joan’s was the face of the Forest.”

Guy Lambourne, previous Community Engagement Officer

Joan and husband Terry unveil the bench for the first time

The huge turnout of staff and volunteers was a testament to the amount of people she made an impression on over the years. Joan was there when the charity was in its infancy and stayed with us until a few years ago, overseeing countless tree plantings in the process – all of which lead to us having planted 1.5 million trees to date. That’s a pretty amazing legacy – thank you Joan! We hope you, and everyone else, enjoys sitting on your bench, surrounded by the trees that you helped to plant, for many years to come.

If you're interested in joining our amazing group of volunteers, let us know - we're always looking for help with fundraising and events, and we have 11 sites to manage and maintain, so we need the help of local Wood Wardens to keep an eye on things. To get involved, call Jo on 01234 762608 or send her an email