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The Burton Branch of the Salvation Army and local residents came together to help plant 30 new trees at Branston Leas Woods on Saturday, marking the 30 fallen WW1 soldiers from Branston, and as part of the Corp’s 130th anniversary.

The public planting event was organised in association with leading regeneration specialist St. Modwen, as part of its own 30th anniversary celebratory year, the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, and Branston Parish Council and was followed by a commemoration ceremony at the Clays Lane Pavilion, marking the 30 local soldiers who lost their lives.

People donned their wellies and upped tools to help plant the trees, which form part of the new 82 acre Branston Leas Wood.

Phillip Dukes, Corps Sargent Major at the Burton branch of the Salvation Army, said: “We had a great turnout on the day, with local residents and supporters turning out to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the Burton Salvation Army Corps, as well as paying tribute to the 30 fallen war heroes.”

Ian Romano, Senior Development Surveyor at St. Modwen, said: “The Salvation Army ceremony was the latest in our programme of community planting events at Branston Leas Woods, enabling people of all ages to get involved in helping shape the new woodland. These events are a great exercise in learning about wildlife, and the importance of creating new woodland for future generations, and I’d strongly encourage people to sign-up.”

The Branston Leas Wood project will see over 21,000 trees planted in total at Branston Leas Woods, which is situated next to the River Trent. More than 15,000 trees, including fruit trees and rare Black Poplars have been planted so far, along with 14,000 bluebell bulbs.

St. Modwen, Branston Parish Council and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust are delivering a new Peace Wood at Branston Leas Woods which will enable residents to pay tribute to their loved ones by sponsoring a plaque on a new oak wall and benches. Interested parties are being invited to register their interest now, by getting in touch with Branston Parish Council.

For more information on the upcoming community planting events please email or call Shaun Rimmer on 01889 880100. To register interest for the new Peace Wood, email