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10 years of Wyggestons Wood

Wed 17 May 2023

Andrew Robinson, Director of Andrew Granger & Co. tells us what can be achieved with a bit of neglected land, and a lot of love and hard work.

The charity client of Andrew Granger & Co., Wyggestons Hospital, acquired approximately six acres of scruffy, soggy pastureland just south of Kilby, Leicestershire, back in the winter of 2009. The plan was to plant a wood for the public to enjoy, to mark the 500th year of the charity, which was rapidly approaching in 2013.

The next 12 months were spent fencing, felling, pruning, constructing, and repairing ditches, and preparing for planting.

At the start of the next autumn, planting season, a motley crew of volunteers and Wyggeston’s trustees, various Lords, Ladies, and dignitaries donned their wellies, bent their backs, and dug in. 1500 trees were planted including field maple, oaks, wytch hazel, common hazel, ash, birch, rowan, and a few special varieties for those keen arboriculturists. An avenue of lime trees was added, and even the dreaded crack willow had a role - to dry out the boggiest bits where we worried about roots rotting.

Amazingly, the wood opened, on time, and in leaf in the Spring of 2013 with much ceremony.

Over the next ten years, friends, family, trustees, Rotarians, even reformed villains, all got roped in by myself, or Duncan Lucas Trustee of Wyggestons Hospital, to help dig, prune, stake, mow, wade, photograph, and film – and we could never thank them enough.

Recently, as another group of happy volunteers from Blaby and Leicester DeMontfort Rotary Club worked hard to make a difference by crown lifting oak trees, willow bashing or dragging out the unwanted foliage, I noted first timers, seasoned campaigners, and regulars. I lifted my cap to those who had helped through the years but who were now watching from above, no doubt laughing at the jokes and complaints of bad backs. 

But most of all I express my thanks to those that turn up, year in year out, to help. To make a difference. To better the environment. To create and maintain a happy place. A place of remembrance. A quiet place. A place for butterflies, dragonflies, stoats, rabbits, frogs, snakes. A place to regain composure.  A place to help keep you sane.

The wood is becoming exactly what we had hoped it would, and is already being appreciated by many people. You can enjoy the space for yourself and can find it on the Welford Road, between Kilby and Arnesby.

More information about Wyggestons Charity can be found here.

And information on all the services Andrew Granger & Co. provide, can be seen here.