A commemorative tree planting scheme will take place this month that will see 75 trees planted in and around Ashington Cricket Club and at Peoples Park.

The project poignantly takes place on the 75th Anniversary of the ending of World War II. The cricket ground was given to the town as a memorial to those from Ashington who gave their lives in the two world wars with significant tree planting taking place at the Cricket Club and Peoples Park at the end of WWII.  

The existing trees in and around the Club were planted in memory of someone from the town who lost their life in WWII (150 trees at the time). In 2015 a project took place to develop a new War Memorial for Ashington and research was undertaken which added a further 25 names to the Memorial totalling 175 individuals. Many of the added names were from families who could not afford the cost to have their loved ones recognised on the Memorial at the time. The new trees will replace those that have been lost over the years and recognise the recently added names.

The project has been developed and funded by Ashington Town Council working in partnership with the Cricket Club and the Ashington Branch of the Royal British Legion. The trees will be planted by volunteers from a number of local organisations including Friends of Ashington Community Woods, Groundwork NE, local Scout & Guide groups and members of the Royal British Legion working with Town Council staff. There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to come along and help with the planting which will take place over three days at the end of March.

As well as the historical aspect the scheme also addresses the climate change agenda. Ashington Town Council has recently adopted a motion for the town to play a positive role in addressing climate change with a focus on tree planting schemes across the town. As well as developing this scheme the Town Council has also recently provided practical support for additional tree planting to take place in Ashington Community Woods later this year.

Mr Bob Dunning, of Ashington Cricket Club, said ‘The Cricket Club is very aware that the grounds were given to the town as a memorial to those who gave their lives in the two world wars. Over the years a number of trees planted after WWII have been lost but we are pleased to be working with the Town Council and Royal British Legion to enhance the grounds and improve the environment with the new planting’.

Mrs Gloria Leitch, of the Ashington Branch of the Royal British Legion, adds ‘In 2015 the Royal British Legion worked closely with the Town Council to develop a new War Memorial and as part of this work research was undertaken which added further names to the to those from the town who lost their lives in WWII. The planting of the trees is a fitting memorial to them and we are delighted that a number of organisations from the town are working together in such a positive way to plant the trees’.

Cllr. Liam Lavery, Chair of the Climate Change Working Group at the Town Council concludes ‘The fight against climate change is an enormous global challenge but at a local level brings an opportunity to focus on a positive future for Ashington. The tree planting scheme poignantly takes place in 2020 and will allow us to remember those from our town that made the ultimate sacrifice in WWII'.

The tree planting will take place from Thursday 26 March till Saturday 28 March. If you would like to help with the planting please call Stephen Humphrey or Sharon Parmley, at Ashington Town Council, on tel: 01670 620 533. Gloves, equipment and refreshments will be provided.

PLEASE NOTE THAT GIVEN THE OUTBREAK OF THE CORONAVIRUS ASHINGTON TOWN COUNCIL WILL SEEK APPROPRIATE ADVICE ON WHETHER THE VOLUNTEER ELEMENT OF THE SCHEME CAN GO AHEAD.