On September 19th Uppingham Rotarians joined the High Sheriff of Rutland, David Wood, at the official opening of the Rotary Covid Wood on Rutland Water.
During the first Covid -19 lockdown the idea of some sort of memorial for those who have suffered as a result of COVID was mooted and the idea of planting trees was agreed as an environmentally acceptable thing to do. This idea was moved on by the then Uppingham Rotary Club President Carolyn Cartwright. Working with Rotary colleagues and Anglian Water staff at Rutland Water led to an agreement on a suitable site and a horseshoe shaped layout. Club member Phil Marston MBE volunteered to organise fund raising and used Just Giving to advantage. Anglian Water then agreed to donate half the cost of the trees.
It was finally agreed that 20 mature trees of indigenous species would be purchased and some existing whips planted alongside them. The trees finally arrived in March of this year. This coincided with the easing of lockdown and Rotary club members spent several hours planting them. The club anticipates planning daffodil bulbs, again of indigenous species, later this year. It has also been agreed that further trees could be added at some time in the future.
The site will feature a stone bench, designed and erected by Finnemores, stone masons of Uppingham. A large limestone boulder with brass plaque, donated by Rutland resident Nick Barker, marks the start of the uphill path to the wood. Uppingham First Secretary and founding club president Ron Simpson BEM said, “It was a memorable pleasure to see the High Sheriff David Wood (pictured with current Club President Shane James) cut the tape to officially open this wonderful community project”.