Memorial Trees Planted on Cothelstone Hill
A group of beech and pine trees have been planted on the summit of Cothelstone Hill, near Taunton, as a centenary memorial to Somerset people who died in the First World War.
The trees are sited next to the famous Seven Sisters tree-ring and are intended to ensure that one of Somerset’s best-loved landmarks continues long into the future.
“There were concerns that some of the existing trees are near the end of their life,” Chris Edwards, Manager of the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), said. “Others, planted about forty years ago, may be damaging the unique archaeology of the hill. We will be managing all the trees over the years ahead to ensure that the familiar skyline is preserved.”
A ceremony to mark the planting of the trees took place on 11 December and was attended by local organisations including the AONB, the South West Heritage Trust, leaseholders of the hill, Somerset County Council, who own it, the Rifles Regiment, and the Friends of Quantock. Also present were members of the Warmington family, previous owners of the hill, and children from Bishop’s Lydeard Primary School. The project to plant the trees was generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“In this period when we are remembering the First World War, it seemed appropriate that the new trees should be a memorial to Somerset people who died in the conflict,” Tom Mayberry, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust, said. “More than 8,000 Somerset soldiers never came home from the war.”
At the planting a minute’s silence was observed and the lives of two Somerset-born soldiers, who had died exactly one hundred years earlier, were remembered. They were Corporal Harold Bowden of Bath and Private Harry Salter of Bridgwater.