Natasha and Jamie got married in Scotland in June 2016. The couple requested donations towards a woodland dedication from the Woodland Trust in Piddington Wood, Oxfordshire instead of wedding gifts. Piddington is an ancient woodland which was once part of Henry II’s hunting forest.
Woodland dedications allow people to dedicate an area of woodland for an unforgettable wedding gift or favour – as well as for any other reason! Dedications of woodland as well as individual trees are available in Woodland Trust woods all over the UK. Every dedication helps the Woodland Trust protect, restore and create woodland and comes with a pack including a personalised certificate and information about the wood.
Here Natasha explains why woodland dedication attracted her and her husband.
How did you two meet?
We met in Turkey on a walking holiday in May 2011. It was a long distance relationship at first, because Jamie lived in Birmingham and I lived in Thame so we just used to spend weekends together. Finally in January 2014 he moved to Thame.
Tell us about the proposal.
I proposed to him! It was a leap year so on February 29th 2016 I took the plunge and asked him and luckily he said yes!
Describe the wedding.
We’d both been married before so we didn’t want or need a big wedding. Instead we tied the knot at Gretna Green in the Blacksmiths Shop. It was perfect: just ourselves and two local old ladies who were witnesses. We then went to Grasmere for our honeymoon.
Why did you decide on a dedication for your wedding?
Because we had both been married previously a wedding list wasn’t something we needed. We knew friends and family would still want to mark the occasion. This way we were able to give something back to society and also help the environment.
Why the Woodland Trust?
I had dedicated trees before. I really liked the idea that this woodland dedication would last a lifetime and leave something behind for future generations. The Trust made the whole experience really simple and easy.
What did other people think about your woodland dedication idea?
Initially they were a bit surprised because they’d not heard about tree or woodland dedications before. But that suited us – we wanted our wedding to be a little bit different and special. They thought it was a lovely idea. We topped up the dedication as a gift to each other too.
What attracted you to Piddington Wood?
Piddington was the closest Woodland Trust wood to our home in Thame. I have since found a certificate that I already had a tree dedicated in my name there! It’s a lovely quiet wood with lots of paths and open space and very well maintained. There are some seats dotted around too. It’s become a very special place to us now and I know when one of us isn’t around anymore either Jamie or I will still visit it to remember.