Thursday, 24 June 2021

Woodland created for future generations

A FARMER is planting about 20,000 trees on a golf course in Peppard.

Alexander Hood, 68, who owns Greys Green Farm and golf course, is covering 20 acres of his land as part of a project to plant 150,000 trees over more than 200 acres.

“I love trees,” he said. “Essentially we have turned what was an arable farm into a woodland with a golf course. Apart from my four children, it’s what I’m most proud of. What I would like is if in 1,000 years’ time someone says they should cut that woodland down, another person says ‘you can’t cut it down, it’s ancient woodland’.”

Mr Hood, who moved to Rotherfield Greys in the Eighties, decided to plant trees, including native broad leaves and evergreens, in a 100-acre plot and build the golf course around it.

He said: “I played golf in Surrey, where there are lot of trees, so I decided the most economically sustainable way of planting trees was to have a golf course among them.

“Most golf courses are trying to get as much golf per acre as they can but I wanted to make as much of the land available for conservation and public enjoyment.”

In 2009, Mr Hood and his wife Ann planted a woodland called Sam’s Spinney in memory of their son, who died that year from a heart condition, aged 41. Three years later, he planted 30,000 trees to commemorate the Queen’s diamond jubilee. The design includes about 200 trees in the shape of 22 diamonds to create the letters “ER” and the wood has a diamond-shaped space in the centre.

Mr Hood said: “It has taken God knows how many thousands of pounds of mine and the council’s money planting these trees but we’ve got there. We will have done 200 acres of planting by the time we’ve finished this year.”

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