The presentation of the cheque at NatWest, Guildford. Left to right: Mr M J Wood (Regional Director Natwest), Mrs Gowers, Kathryn Ballard and Nick Blackman
Thanks to Nick Blackman for providing further information about this plan which formed part of the "Farnham 400" celebrations in 1978. The tree planting scheme provided a permanent commemoration of the event. The initial plan to commemorate 400 years of secondary education in Farnham was published in the Farnham Herald on 3 March 1978:
"The planting of a College Copse in Farnham Park later this year is planned by Farnham College as part of their celebrations to commemorate 400 years of continuous secondary education in Farnham.
"The planting will be carried out by students, who are inviting sponsors to back the scheme by donating the cost of the trees. The copse -
"A weekend of quarter-
"It is also hoped to raise funds for the college which, like other schools, is feeling the effects of the cut-
"The idea that tree planting would be an ideal permanent commemoration of the anniversary came from Mrs Yvonne Gowers, community service officer at the college. "This, after all, will be something for the future," she said; students could come back and visit the College Copse in years to come and remember that they had helped plant it.
"Waverley's countryside officer, Mr Edward Holdaway, with the arboricultural officer, Mr D Coupe and Mr Craig Vincer -
"Mr Holdaway told the Herald that two areas in the more rural part of Farnham Park used for grazing had been set aside for tree plantations by the old Farnham urban council.
"This seems to be an excellent idea and a jolly nice way of commemorating such an anniversary," Mr Holdaway said. Although the scheme had yet to be put before the council, such offers were normally accepted with gratitude, and this was very much in accord with ideas about the Park.
"One of the purposes of the college in planting the copse is to help replace old and diseased trees -
"The group of students who provide a working party at Frensham as part of their community service will be chiefly concerned with the planting and after-
"Meanwhile committees and sub-
"The College is producing a special magazine to mark the anniversary and have invited local business houses to submit advertisements. They hope to sell over 2,000 copies. The 40 tutor groups will each have a stall at the fete on Saturday May 20th, and the Old Farnhamians are also closely involved. A grand draw is being organised, for which 20,000 tickets are being printed.
"Local first and middle schools have been informed of a children's competition for historical costumes, and the attractions will also include a hot air balloon and the Reading piped band. There will be a barbecue and barn dance in the evening, and a students' disco on the following Monday. On Sunday, the college will participate in evensong at St Andrew's parish church as part of the commemoration.
"In the hope the weekend will provide something for everyone, starting on the Friday evening with the formal reception and Elizabethan supper. Mrs Janice Rees, head of home economics, and her 'O' and 'A' level students -
This was followed by the Farnham Herald reported on the award of £250 towards this project on 21 April 1978:
"A Farnham College plan to commemorate the quarter-
"Mrs Yvonne Gowers, head of community service at the college who originated the tree planting idea, told the Herald this week "we are absolutely over the moon", and from the Natwest office we were told "the judges felt this was a particularly good scheme, involving something permanent for the future.
"Two of the students who have been carrying out conservation work in the Frensham country park, Nick Blackman and Catherine Ballard, went with Mrs Gowers to receive the cheque from Mr Michael Wood, area manager.
"College students and staff have been recruiting sponsors to pay for the trees -
"Contributions have come from as far afield as Santiago, Switzerland and Bahrain -
"The intention of "Project Respond" is that the award money should go to further the winning scheme. "There should be enough money to provide a really good quality fence round the trees -
"The tree planting will be carried out in the autumn by students working under the direction of Waverley's countryside officer, Mr Edward Holdaway, and the warden of the Frensham country park. Those chiefly involved will be the members of the College's conservation group and the community service "task force" -
"The "task force" consists of 50 or 60 students who give up weekends and evenings to out-
"The trees will be planted on Saturdays, and students due to leave college at the end of the summer term will be coming back to lend a hand. The College will also provide after-
The link to Waverley Borough Council's leaflet on Farnham Park includes a map showing the location of the College Copse.