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The Forestry Commission has worked with the Calverton branch of The Royal British Legion to improve access to one of the region's most poignant war memorials.
For many years veterans and families have made a pilgrimage into Watchwood, near Calverton, to hold a Remembrance Day service on the site of a crashed Polish aircraft.
The aeroplane was a Fairy Battle which crashed in 1939 on its way back to its Lincolnshire base from a mission. All three crew members were killed and the site is now marked by a war memorial.
However, the moving landmark was located one mile away from the nearest car parking area, posing a problem as veterans and relatives got older.
But now the Forestry Commission has linked up with the Royal British Legion to create a new car park just 100 yards from the site. Ranger Byron Wibberley explained:
"We are keen to play our part in maintaining Remembrance Day services at the Polish memorial. The new car park will mean many more people can venture into the woods to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice all those years ago."
Mick Lloyd, Branch Secretary with the Calverton Royal British Legion, added:
“Our thanks go to the Forestry Commissions who realised the problems we have encountered with parking and the turning of vehicles. We approached our local county councillor for assistance and he helped us secure a £1000 grant to ensure work was completed in time for this year's service. It means a great deal to the Polish War Veterans Association, the branch and local members of the community. We also want to attract younger members of the Polish community to support this special act of remembrance and whilst ever it exists we will continue to maintain and encourage the Act of Remembrance at this “memorial in the woods.”
Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.
Note to Editor
Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. To find out more got to www.forestry.gov.uk/EastMidlands