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Foresters are mourning the loss of a memorial plaque, which was unveiled by the Queen in Eggesford Forest in 1956.
Back in June this year, the plaque was stolen from the forest and despite the best efforts of the local police, no one has come forward with information about its whereabouts.
Area Forester for North Devon Jimmy Mann says:
"It is so disappointing that someone has stolen this plaque. Eggesford Forest is an historic place for the Forestry Commission as it is the sight of the first ever trees planted by the Commission in 1919. Some of these trees are still standing today.
"In 1956, the Queen visited the sight to celebrate the achievements of the Forestry Commission and in particular to record the planting of the millionth acre of trees with the commemorative plaque that has now been stolen.
"It is incredibly sad that an important piece of local history has been taken in this way and we are appealing to local people to get in touch if they know anything about the plaque’s disappearance or current location. The incident has been reported to the police so anyone with any information can call them on 00245 277 7444 and quote the crime number KC/10/424.
"Eggesford Forest is a wonderful place to visit. Not only can people see some magnificent Douglas fir trees, it also has waymarked trails, picnic areas and provides a rich and diverse habitat for a wide variety of birds, mammals and insects. It is a beautiful and historic place and I for one hope that the plaque can be restored to its rightful setting."
NOTES TO EDITOR
- The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England 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. Further information can be found at
- For further information please contact Kirstie Smith, Communications Manager, Forestry Commission on 01392 834249.
- Eggesford can be reached by car via the A377 between Exeter and Barnstaple or by train on the Tarka Line between Exeter and Barnstaple which stops at Eggesford Station.