Tree and woodland stories, part of a new book from City of Trees

Date published: 18 May 2019

To celebrate the end of its four year Heritage Trees project, leading environmental charity, City of Trees has released a book which commemorates the most loved trees and woods across our city region.

The book brings together the most powerful best trees and woodland stories which have been shared by the Greater Manchester public submitted to the project since 2015, showing how trees and woods are interwoven into the fabric of people’s lives, as a legacy of its work and objectives.

Pop Star Tree - Rochdale: We had a tree in our back garden where we grew up in Rochdale. When we played in it we gave each of the branches names - after pop stars. Some of the branches were harder than others to climb. I remember one branch was called ‘Elvis Presley’ and there was also ‘Cliff Richard’. I can’t remember all the rest of them, but they would have been after pop stars in the late 50s early 60s.

Littleborough Redwoods: My family planted four sequoias whilst we lived at Greenhalgh Farm from 2003 until 2014. When we left in 2014, there were four sequoias interspersed with other conifers: two commonly known as Californian Coastal Redwoods and two commonly known as the Giant Sequoias.

There is one in America called ‘General Sherman’ with a tarmacked road cut right through it. I have four grandchildren and starting from the one planted nearest to the top of the slope, where the old header tank was for the water supply, the sequoias were named Joshua, Joe, Georgia, Oliver.

The intention was that when they are all very senior citizens, they could look across the valley and remember the good times we had together at Greenhalgh Farm.

I had – and still have – an interest in all kinds of trees and how they can benefit the environment.


Nigel, City of Trees Field Surveyor with Littleborough's giant sequoia
Nigel, City of Trees Field Surveyor with Littleborough's giant sequoia


The book will be given to all groups, organisations and individuals who took part in the four year lottery-funded Heritage Trees project  project.

During its four years, the Heritage Trees project safeguarded 20 heritage trees across Greater Manchester by performing maintenance work, revitalised more than 10 orchards across the city region and restored more than 2km of hedgerows, which are vital for wildlife.

The Heritage Trees project team also organised and ran 700 volunteer days and engaged with 20,000 people at 1,600 events during the three years.

The foreword of the book has been written by Adam O'Riordan, the academic director of the Manchester Writing School and Reader in Contemporary Poetry and Fiction. Manchester-born Adam is known for his poetry and in 2008 was the youngest Poet-In-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust.

In Adam's introduction to the book, he says: "Manchester is a city of trees, though it's sometimes easy to forget this as our eyes are drawn to the dazzling glass skyscrapers and tall white cranes around the city. This book reminds us of the quiet wealth of trees we all share in.

"They are places where we talk and dream, make memories or just remember things, where we sometimes even fall in love."

Rhys Wynne, Heritage Trees engagement officer, said: "This has been such a fantastic project, which has protected some of Greater Manchester's heritage trees and hedgerows for future generations to enjoy.

"The stories people have told us about their favourite trees and woods have been a really important part of the project, and we wanted to make sure these stories were recorded for posterity."

The Heritage Trees project ran from January 2015 to December 2018, and celebrated, recorded and protected Greater Manchester’s our regional tree heritage. The project was set up to record memories and feelings about the trees, woodlands, hedgerows and orchards which are part of the fabric of our towns and cities.

An interactive map on the Heritage Trees website enabled people residents to share stories enter images and information about trees of importance near them. It also showed orchards, important hedgerows and upcoming events.

You can find out more about the Heritage Trees project here:

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