Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 13.20.48A FAMILY feature at the heart of a historic park is coming of age – and those who’ve made a contribution are being invited to get in touch.

The first tree in Stewart Park’s Family Wood was planted in December 1994, and plans are under way for a celebration of its 21st birthday.

Family Woods were part of a national scheme co-ordinated by the Tree Council and administered by the International Tree Federation.

The woods were created by Middlesbrough council as part of The Tees Forest project, giving all involved the opportunity to commemorate any person, event or memory in the name of a friend or family member.

Now a weekend of celebration is being planned for March this year by the WildXscapes Rangers and Friends of Stewart Park, and organisers are hoping to trace as many people as possible who have planted trees in the Stewart Park wood.

They’ll be laying on a host of nature-themed activities for old and young to get involved in, and decorating the wood in partnership with local schools and community groups.

And they’re also on the look-out for volunteer knitters to help create a knitted Teddy Bears’ Picnic – over recent months visitors to the park have been donating wool for the project, and patterns will be supplied.

The weekend will culminate in the cutting of a 21st birthday cake and the planting of a celebration tree dedicated to all Stewart Park visitors old and new.

Stewart Park Horticultural Advisor Nicky Morgan said:  “The initial trees planted have reached their 21st year, and over the years they have provided great enjoyment to park users, as well as improving the park’s wildlife habitats and bio-diversity.

“The Family Wood is also a key part of the works currently being carried out as part of the WildXscapes project, with local schools being involved in a range of wood management activities, using tools and learning new skills.”

If you know of any  the whereabouts of anyone who dedicated a tree as part of the family wood scheme Nicky Morgan would love to hear from them, contact details are or Phone 01642 515643