Poetry trail brings history to life at Brackfield Wood

July 15, 2019

That their deaths were not in vain,

That is their legacy, rooted here,

In branch and leaf endeared,

Each tree equal, each the same.

by Dr Sam Burnside MBE, Woodland Trust Poet in Residence
A stone on the poetry trail
Picture: Michael Cooper

With help from funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programme, a newly-installed poetry trail is bringing local military history to life.

Grant support in Northern Ireland

Brackfield Wood, set within the Faughan Valley near Londonderry, now features a wonderful memorial woodland walk, taking visitors back in time to remember Northern Ireland’s contribution to the First World War.

The site is one of 1,000 across the UK, supported by the Woodland Trust – the UK’s largest conservation charity.

Local Grants funding seeks to bring the community together, and the trail certainly does this, with each of the eight stone sculptures carved with poignant lines of poetry by the Woodland Trust’s poet in residence, Sam Burnside MBE.

Capturing the legacy of loss

Sam said: “What struck me most when I first visited Brackfield Wood was the quietness. It is so peaceful, with just the sound of running water. As I wrote my poems, I sought to capture the legacy of loss from the First World War – to make it concrete. I tried to put myself in the shoes of those who were left behind.”

The Trust also plans to install listening posts and an interpretation panel too – all with help from the Local Grants funding they received!

Community integration in action

We’re delighted to see such a positive outcome from this project – bringing generations together to learn about our military heritage in such a beautiful setting.

Could your organisation deliver a project that supports the military community?