Dame Judi Dench has dedicated a grove at Woodland Trust’s Ledmore and Migdale Wood in Sutherland: “for the people we love.”

A post marking the grove has recently been erected, after Dame Judi sent out cards last Christmas telling friends she was dedicating the acre of woodland to them.

Dame Judi said:

“For many years it has been my habit to plant trees marking occasions in family life. When I saw the Woodland Trust’s dedication scheme it struck me as a marvellous way of gifting something rather beautiful and lasting to friends at Christmas.

“I looked at information and pictures of various beautiful woods before settling on Ledmore and Migdale. I have not visited personally. Perhaps I shall one day. As the trees grow in the years ahead it is certainly a nice thought that some of my friends might drop by. It does seem a magical spot.”

The pandemic crisis delayed installation of a dedication post at the wood, but it is now in place. It reads: “These trees have been dedicated at Christmas 2019 for the people we love. Judi Dench and family.”

One of Britain’s most respected film, stage and television actresses, Dame Judi has worked for the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company and won no fewer than eight prestigious Olivier Awards. Known internationally for roles in films including James Bond, Mrs Brown, Shakespeare in Love and Iris, she is an ambassador of the Woodland Trust.

Woodland Trust Scotland site manager Ross Watson said:

“This is a fantastic accolade for Ledmore and Migdale. I am thrilled and I am sure many in the local community will be delighted too. The grove comprises an open bog woodland with birch fringe, and spectacular views over to Migdale Rock. It will be a fantastic haven for wildlife as the area continues to develop in the years ahead.”

Ledmore and Migdale is the most northerly of over 1,000 sites managed by the Trust across the UK. Dedications are available at over 50 locations.

Ledmore and Migdale lies around the small village of Spinningdale, on the shore of the Dornoch Firth. This beautiful wood offers an enriching and magical experience to visitors looking for fantastic walks, a vast array of wildlife, tranquillity, and a rich and diverse habitat to explore. At nearly 700 hectares (1730 acres) it is one of the largest sites owned by the Woodland Trust and encompasses three Sites of Special Scientific Interest:

  • Ledmore Oakwood (95 hectares/235 acres)
  • Migdale Pinewood (144 hectares/356 acres)
  • Spinningdale Bog (29 hectares/71 acres).

In 1897 the industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie bought Skibo Estate which then included the woods of Ledmore and Migdale. The estate stayed in the family until the 1980s.

The Trust acquired the bulk of the site in the 1990s. Earlier this year it added The Fairy Glen – a favourite walk of the Carnegie family.

Last year 20 red squirrels were reintroduced to Ledmore and Migdale in a partnership between the Trust and Trees for Life.

Dedications

Tree and woodland dedications last for generations and are memorable and that little bit different. Each tree or woodland grove is dedicated once only and is personal and unique to whoever you give it to.

Every tree supports hundreds of species of plant, insects, birds and animals, so by dedicating a tree or woodland and supporting the work of the Woodland Trust you are directly giving nature a helping hand.

Dedicate for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, weddings, new babies or even as a Valentine’s Day gift with a difference. Dedications are suitable for every occasion and the dedication pack we send out means there can always be something to open.

Pick from a huge selection of woods with dedications available. As the UK’s biggest woodland conservation charity, the Woodland Trust has woods all across the UK for you to choose from and each has its own character and variety of species.

Our dedications range from single trees to woodland groves of a quarter of an acre or more, with optional benches and posts featuring your message.

To say thank you, we’ll send a special pack for every dedication. Our dedication packs can be posted or even emailed directly to the recipient so you can buy a gift at the last minute and never get caught out!

Each pack includes a map to find the area set aside for dedications, a personalised certificate and wood information sheet telling you all about the wildlife and plant species that live there. Trees in our woods are not marked in any way, but for the truly personal touch some of our larger grove dedications come with a bench or post which feature a plaque bearing your own message.

Visit shop.woodlandtrust.org.uk/dedications

Notes to editors

For further information contact George Anderson on 07770 700631.

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims:

  • protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable
  • restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life
  • plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 29,000 hectares. Access to its woods is free.