Students set to name new memorial woodland

Students from Park Community School in Havant have been asked to come up with a name for a new memorial woodland next to Warren Park, at the proposed site for Havant Thicket Reservoir.

Portsmouth Water has submitted planning applications for the reservoir, which is needed to secure future water resources in the South East and would be located between Warren Park and Rowlands Castle.

The company has been working in partnership with Havant Borough Council to establish the new woodland, with 3,000 new trees already planted.
The aim is to give local people a place to visit for quiet reflection, in particular, to remember family, friends and others who have passed away. At the same time, the additional trees will create a valuable new wildlife habitat for birds and mammals, such as dormice and bats, by providing connection between other areas of woodland nearby and further afield.

Now, as part of their remote learning during the Coronavirus lockdown, students from Park Community School will be thinking up suggestions for naming the woodland.

The idea of creating a memorial woodland originally came from Councillor Prad Bains, who is currently Mayor of Havant. Councillor Bains said: “The woodland is intended to help commemorate those who served in the two World Wars and other conflicts and raise awareness, especially among young people, about our area’s strong connection to the armed forces.”

“So, it’s fantastic that students from Park Community School will be coming up with a name for the woodland, taking into account our history, the peaceful place the woodland is intended to be and the fact it will enhance local biodiversity and wildlife. I can’t wait to hear what ideas the students put forward, as we work towards the woodland being officially opened later this year.”

Ella Capaldi, Head of School at Park Community School, added: “Our students are really excited about this opportunity to name what will be a special place that people can enjoy for decades to come. It’s also a great chance for them to learn more about a range of issues, including local history, the environment, sustainability and where our water comes from.”

Trevor Codlin, Principal Ecologist at Portsmouth Water, commented: “The new woodland is part of our Havant Thicket Reservoir scheme. It will be an improved area for people to enjoy nature and have the space to reflect and remember loved ones and others. Plus, the woodland will really help local wildlife, as it will provide a new habitat for feeding and moving from one place to another.”

A mixture of different types of trees have been planted over the last year, including by pupils from Warren Park Primary School and by volunteers from the Positive Pathways community group.

100 of the new trees were already more fully grown, helping the woodland to establish a good structure more quickly. The trees are being protected by deer fencing while they are growing.