Jo’s Oak and John’s Orchard at the heart of Community Wood

Jo’s Oak and John’s Orchard at the heart of Community Wood
By Tony Earnshaw
Local Democracy Reporter

THE family of Jo Cox have planted an oak tree in a woodland space dedicated to her memory.

Spen Valley Civic Society set up the Jo Cox Community Wood on a 3.7-acre site, formerly low-grade pastureland, next to the Spen Valley Greenway and Liversedge Football Club, between Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike.

After appealing for volunteers, they have planted around 150 trees, including apple and pear.

In memory of Civic Society member John Appleyard, who died of cancer last July, they created Appleyard’s Orchard.

Civic Society treasurer Colin Berry explained: “We promised John we’d plant an apple tree for him but the generosity of people’s donations at his funeral meant we had enough money to buy 11 trees.

“Spen Valley now has a community orchard at one end of the Jo Cox Wood. Hopefully, in years to come, local people will be able to pick apples and pears thanks to John.”

The planting of the Jo Cox Oak inspired the Civic Society to offer a ‘Trees for Life’ scheme from now until the end of February.

In return for a donation of £50 it will buy, plant, stake and maintain a half-standard native tree and will give the donor a certificate showing where the tree is planted.

Chairman Max Rathmell said: “This is a great way to mark a birth, marriage, birthday or anniversary, or to celebrate someone’s life.

“It’s an eco-friendly present that will benefit wildlife, improve air quality in the Spen Valley and be a positive symbol of a person’s life and achievements.”

Share this post