Tree-planting Reports



…[indistinct] they’re still arriving. But I think we’re mostly here.

Thank you so much for coming down. I know it’s a long journey for some of you. That was a joke ! Well, let’s hope they get better ! Closer to the mike ? Okay.

I’m very excited, I have to say. This has long been a dream – to do something like this – and it seems that the planets have sort of aligned, and made it happen. As you know, I owned Kites Hill and a few other bits and pieces down here for quite a while, and I’ve been trying to return them gently to a sort of native state, so converting them from commercial timber factories, back into actual habitats.

When this new piece of land came up for sale, it was really a golden opportunity, because the plan that I’d been told about was that there were going to be houses built on here, where we’re standing, and I didn’t think that would be a very good idea for the community.

My Project 18 by Paul Thomas

Bere Regis 28th September 2013..’it’s a kind of magic’..inaugural tree planting with Dr Brian May, guitarist with legendary rock group ‘Queen’.

28 September 2013

Brian May in Bere Regis fields
Brian May visited his land in February and took part in a successful consultation with local residents

Rock star Brian May has taken up a shovel to plant the first tree on land he is reclaiming “on behalf of our wildlife”.

The Queen guitarist kick started a long-term plan to transform 157-acres of agricultural land he bought in Bere Regis, Dorset, into a woodland haven.

More than 100,000 trees and shrubs will be planted there in the next 12 months.

Dr May said: “I come from a place of playing guitar and music, but I’ve always had a concern about animals.”

The tree-planting project is part of the musician’s Save Me wildlife charity, which is also heavily involved in an anti-badger cull campaign.

May’s Wood

The 66-year-old has a PhD in astrophysics and is a wildlife campaigner.

He said the land would eventually “form a wildlife corridor and link on with the wildlife meadow”. He added: “We have a wonderful possibility to make an environment which our children and grandchildren will grow up and enjoy in harmony with the animals around them.”

The woodland originally named Save Me Woods has become known by local residents as May’s Wood and the name has stuck.

Residents joined Dr May in the community planting day on Saturday afternoon, where around 600 trees – mainly Oak – were planted. Eight fields will be planted in May’s Wood conversion and the range of trees will include oak, beech, chestnut, limes, wild cherry, spruce, Douglas fir, walnut and woody shrubs.

The majority of the tree planting will take place after 1 January 2014 once the farming cycle has fully stopped.

28 Sepember 2013

Dr Brian May with Chief  Executive of Save Me Anne Brummer
Dr Brian May with Chief Executive of Save Me Anne Brummer

HUNDREDS of Dorset residents turned out to help Queen guitarist Brian May kick start his woodland vision. The Queen guitarist was joined by hundreds of adults and children from Bere Regis and Shitterton to plant the first tree in what will become May’s Wood.

The new Save Me project will establish new native woodland on a 157-acre site near Bere Regis.

Young and old joined in the community planting day and over the next 12 months more than 100,000 trees will be planted in the area.

The Save Me project plans to reclaim the land that used to be forest years ago and create a wildlife haven that both animals and people will be able to enjoy together.

The woodland was originally going to be called Save Me Woods, but it has become known by local residents as May’s Wood and the name stuck.

Dr May opened the event with a speech about his vision for the wood and then children from Bere Regis First School sang a newly created woodland song.

The song contained the lyrics: “Our children’s children will walk through these woods and in the meadows that were planted with love.”

Dr May then planted the first oak sapling and the community all mucked in to plant hundreds of others.

Speaking to the Echo Dr May said he was feeling very excited about the future of the project. He said: “I’m delighted that people are here and that everyone’s here and into it. It’s very exciting to think the children will grow up beside the trees they have planted.” He added he felt he was on a learning curve. He said: “I feel excited – I have never done anything like this in my life. This is completely new to me. It feels very rewarding already to see the first of the saplings.”

Dr May said that the project was a small acorn in the grand scheme of things but that he hoped the idea would spread He said: “This seems big to us but it’s a tiny drop in the ocean of the UK’s land.” He added: “I’m happy to say we are working with great people all over the world trying to establish similar projects.”

Eight fields will be planted as part of the conversion from agricultural land to new woodland habitat. The wood will be planted and managed by UPM Tilhill and a range of trees will be planted including: oak, beech, chestnut, limes, wild cherry, spruce, Douglas fir, walnut and shrubs.