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Landmark reached as 50th tree planted at RSPB's Celebration Wood

Last modified: 14 December 2015

Acorn and oak leaf

Image: Randi Hausken (Creative Commons)

The Celebration Wood at RSPB Dove Stone continues to grow, with the fiftieth tree planted this month – in memory of a much-loved husband, dad and granddad.

The family of Jack Whittle gathered to plant a rowan tree in the Celebration Wood, which is the first of its kind for the RSPB. It offers people a chance to contribute towards the creation of a wild woodland on a spectacular reserve by planting a tree in memory of someone special, with the opportunity to bury ashes beneath it.

Mr Whittle’s daughter, Kath Sage, from Royton, Oldham, said: “We were so pleased to have chosen the Celebration Wood at RSPB Dove Stone as the final resting place for Jack’s ashes as everything about it was just right.

“We can’t think of a better spot for a resting place than looking down on Dove Stone and up at Indian’s Head and Alderman’s Hill, whilst contributing to conservation and helping to provide a home for the wildlife of the area.

“The day of the planting went so well and the whole family now have a lasting memorial to a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.”

Since the first tree was planted late last year, the woodland has gone from strength to strength, with donations for trees received both locally and from across the country.

Jacqui Green, Celebration Wood Officer, said: “It’s fantastic to watch the woodland develop into a very special place for many people, while also creating an important home for nature.

“It’s been wonderful to meet many of the families who have made a donation for a tree and help them add to the beauty of this very special place.

“All the staff and volunteers involved are now looking forward to planting the next fifty trees – it’s an exciting time for the future of this woodland.”

Located close to Ashway Gap picnic area, which is about halfway around the main Dove Stone circular trail, the woodland offers fantastic views across the reservoir. With a selection of native trees to choose from, people who make a donation to plant a tree are also invited to sow wildflowers at the same time – something which the family of Mr Whittle decided to do.

Kath Sage added: “Jacqui from the RSPB was just brilliant from the start in helping us make decisions about where to plant the tree, the type of tree and the practicalities of the event.

“We’d like to thank Jacqui for organising such a memorable occasion for all the family, with everyone playing a part in the proceedings.”

For more information about the Celebration Wood at Dove Stone, and suggested donations, please visit our website or contact Jacqui Green on 01457 819885 or email 

Dove Stone reservoir is owned by United Utilities and the water company works in partnership with the RSPB, who manage the estate.  The partnership aims to encourage public access and recreation, while protecting water quality and wildlife for future generations.

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