Since The Woodland Trust was contacted by Sir Tom’s eldest daughter, Lucy Teixeira, in February to set up a memorial project for her late father, a spokeswoman for the charity said they had been “blown away” by the response from the public.
The organisation, which owns more than 1,000 woods in the UK, added the “heartfelt connection” from people to the Trees for Tom scheme, which has now surpassed more than £100,000 with donations still coming in, will be placed at the centre of the new woodland in Yorkshire.
Faye Rollinson, the lead marketing manager for The Woodland Trust, which owns more than 350 woods in Northern England and 70 sites across Yorkshire and Humber, confirmed to The Yorkshire Post that the exact location for the public memorial woodland, which will only include UK-sourced and grown trees, will be announced this month.
She added this was due to several locations being “on the table”, with the final decision being made by Sir Tom’s family.
Ms Rollinson said: “This is really big for The Woodland Trust, we’ve never done anything like this before on this scale. It has really sparked a heartfelt connection in the public.
“They have really been inspired by Sir Tom and people are also donating because they have lost loved ones due to the pandemic. The family are really keen on it being a public and accessible woodland for people to enjoy and go and remember Sir Tom in their own way.
“There are a few different options for the location - with the vision to fulfil the wishes of the family and leaving a lasting legacy in Sir Tom’s memory.”
While The Woodland Trust carried out the legacy work in the UK, the TreeSisters organisation will plant trees internationally across 11 locations in nine countries, with a focus on India where The World War Two veteran served.
Trees will also be planted in Brazil, Kenya, Mozambique, Cameroon and Madagascar, as well as Nepal, West Papua and Borneo.
Cali White, the head of partnerships for TreeSisters, said: “We are planting globally from Brazil in the West to Bourneo in the East, all around the tropical belt - which is the world’s natural cooling system.
“That is to reflect the concern that Sir Tom had about what was happening on a global level. He was a man of the world - he travelled, he was awake to the destruction and the pollution and the climate crisis we are facing.”
Ms White added that the charity will start planting in roughly two months as part of the 12-month project, running in what would have been Sir Tom’s 101st year - and she confirmed the aim is to plant 100,000 trees.
She said: “I think that is a really fitting and beautiful legacy, something that his grandchildren, and grandchildren all around the world can look back on and be inspired.
“This generation is being inspired by his energy to take action and do the right thing and be part of the solution.”
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