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National Memorial Arboretum taking bookings for Mothering Sunday celebration

A delicious Mothering Sunday lunch complemented by live, forties-style entertainment, will be hosted by the National Memorial Arboretum on Sunday 18th March at 12 noon, and bookings are now being taken.

The Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities, is set in 150 acres of wooded parkland, providing a beautiful setting in which to celebrate this special occasion.  The two course roast lunch, followed by tea and coffee, will be served by the Arbour Restaurant and every mother will also receive a gift.

Singer and entertainer, Lola Lamour, who specialises in music from the 1920's to the 1950's, will perform a selection of musical numbers, including those of George Gershwin, Cole Porter and the Magic of the Movies, plus Dance Band melodies.

The price is £20 per adult and £10 for children under 12, but there is no charge for children under three years old.  Places are limited and prior booking is essential, with a £5 deposit per person required upon booking.

To reserve places call 01283 792333 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Further information is available on the Arboreum’s website: www.thenma.org.uk.

Half-term fun at Middleton Lakes

Some great family fun suitable for all ages is on offer during half-term week at RSPB Middleton Lakes. Saturday 29 October sees a special Feed The Birds Day event, when there will be lots of family activities, and visitors can find out everything they need to know about attracting birds to their garden, the best ways of feeding them, and how to make suitable food using everyday items in the larder.

And each day from Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October, there will be the opportunity to become a Deadly Detective with CBBC Live ‘n’ Deadly’s  exciting new DSI: Deadly Scene Investigation. Each child gets a Deadly Detective booklet to help them find clues, solve puzzles and try to discover who has eaten whom.  More information can be found on the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activity/dsi-deadly-scene-investigation-07 All activities run between 10am and 4pm and are free of charge.

Staffordshire gives big support for National Memorial Arboretum

Staffordshire County Council will make a major contribution to the future of the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield – investing £3m into the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance.

The council’s cabinet has approved an investment of £500,000 a year for the next six years to support a major appeal to help make the landmark even more central to the collective memory of the nation.

Following an increase in visitors to the site each year, an appeal was launched by HRH The Duke of Cambridge in April 2009.  Featuring greatly improved facilities, the goal is to make the National Memorial Arboretum a world class centre of Remembrance.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and enterprise Ben Adams said this was an investment in Staffordshire’s national and international reputation.

“The National Memorial Arboretum is at the heart of our collective sense of identity. It is a symbol of remembrance for the sacrifices that past and present generations make to protect our freedom and prosperity. We know this will continue to be a symbolic place to learn, remember and celebrate.

“It is now attracting 300,000 visitors a year – and will be pulling in visitors from across the world. We’re proud that Staffordshire is a focus for the nation’s pride.”

Major General Patrick Cordingley, chair of the Appeal, said: "This generous support from Staffordshire County Council will give our plans to create a National Centre for Remembrance an enormous boost. It is fantastic news for the county, its residents and the country as a whole.”

The National Memorial Arboretum is planning to develop:

  • A Remembrance Learning Centre
  • The Veterans Pavilion
  • Heroes’ Square

Thousands of motorcyclists join Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum

 

In a show of support for UK Armed Forces, this weekend saw many thousands of motorcyclists make a poignant pilgrimage to the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The fourth annual Ride to the Wall brought together motorcyclists from around the country and parts of Europe for this unique Remembrance event. It is estimated that up to 15,000 people were present for the service which was conducted from the steps of the Armed Forces Memorial.  Organisers say that over £100,000 will have been raised for the Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities, and attracts around 300,000 visitors a year.

 

Joining the ride for the first time was Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson.  Despite being severely injured in a landmine incident in Afghanistan in 2006, Ben rode on the back of a Harley Davidson belonging to a member of the St Leger Chapter, Doncaster.

 

RTTW patron, Major General Lamont Kirkland CBE, Commander 4th Division, said: “This has become a truly national event and I’d like to thank the public who gathered on bridges and outside of their houses to support us.  We must never forget those that can no longer ride by our side.”

 

This year for the first time the motorcyclists departed from seven different locations for the ride to the Arboretum.  Several of the routes passed through the M6 Toll, who generously agreed to waive the charge for all RTTW motorcyclists.

The National Forest chosen for the Queen's flagship Jubilee Wood

The National Forest Company is delighted that The National Forest has been chosen as the site of a vast 460-acre publicly-accessible woodland as a national symbol to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

 

National charity the Woodland Trust has been searching for the ‘crowning jewel’ in its biggest tree-planting campaign ever, Jubilee Woods, which will commemorate The Queen’s Jubilee by planting 6 million trees to create hundreds of new woods UK wide.

 

Located at the heart of England, The National Forest is within easy access of 10 million people, making the new woodland perfect for the Woodland Trust’s ambition to create a natural historic monument for the nation, give people access to the wonders of woodland and enable wildlife to thrive.

 

The flagship Diamond Jubilee Wood will be the largest continuous block of woodland owned by a single organisation in The National Forest.  The National Forest Company has made a substantial contribution of land towards the new woodland and a number of landowners have worked together with the Woodland Trust to enable this to happen.

 

Catherine Graham-Harrison OBE, Chair, National Forest Company, said: ‘The National Forest is the country’s most ambitious project to transform a landscape through planting trees and creating other wildlife-friendly habitats, so it is fitting that such prestigious woodland, led by the country’s best-known woodland charity, should take root here.’

 

The site brings together former opencast reclaimed land, patches of ancient woodland, arable fields and a newly created lake on the opencast site. The new woodland will attract a wide variety of species of wildlife: skylarks in the open spaces, and it should be ideal habitat for the threatened lesser spotted woodpecker, one of The National Forest’s listed biodiversity action species.

 

Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive, National Forest Company, said: ‘The progress of The National Forest’s creation has been quite phenomenal.  We have planted 7.8 million trees so far, and have more than trebled the woodland cover throughout the Forest’s 200 square miles from 6% to 18.4%.

 

‘We have achieved this through steadfast and enthusiastic support from partners, private and public, local communities and individuals. The Forest is much loved by local people and there are already well used and popular woodlands and attractions in the wider area around the new flagship woodland:  Sence Valley Country Park in particular is a fine example of thriving woodland and lakes created out of a former opencast site and lovingly looked after by local volunteers and the Forestry Commission.

 

‘We now welcome this national flagship woodland which will sit so well in the Forest and be looked after to the highest possible standards by the Woodland Trust: truly a jewel in the crown of The National Forest.’

 

The Woodland Trust has launched a major campaign to raise funds for the site.

 

Sue Holden, Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust, said:  ‘We need help to create woodland for the nation, to give everyone access to the beauty of the natural world and create a legacy for The Queen’s Jubilee. It’s a chance to celebrate the reign of one of our best-loved and longest-reigning monarchs while educating people about the need to increase woodland cover in the UK.  We are one of the least wooded countries in Europe so there’s an urgent need for more trees to help double native woodland cover in the UK. We need the help of people to make this happen whether it is through tree planting, giving time or through fundraising.’

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