24 November 2020

The Memorial Woodland at Wendover and HS2

Rennie Grove Hospice Care (then Iain Rennie Hospice at Home) was gifted the use of a piece of land on the outskirts of Wendover 10 years ago for the purpose of creating a Memorial Woodland for the local community. In return for a donation to the charity, people were able to plant a tree in memory of a loved one. The land is in a peaceful location in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the aim of the charity was to provide a quiet and beautiful area for memories and reflection.

The agreed route for HS2 will run nearby and in order to construct this section, known as the Wendover Green Tunnel, HS2 has taken possession of the land on which the Memorial Woodland is located for a period of five years to create access to the construction site. This has resulted in a number of the trees in one section of the Memorial Woodland being cut down.

Rennie Grove Hospice Care and the landowner have been in negotiations with HS2 for over a year trying to secure the best possible outcome for the woodland and for the families whose loved ones are remembered there. These negotiations have yet to reach a conclusion, and are still ongoing, but the charity remains hopeful that an agreement will be reached for HS2 to provide financial compensation to restore the woodland to its former state at the end of the five year period.

Rennie Grove Hospice Care and the landowner were given a month’s notice of HS2’s intention to take possession of the land on 20 October 2020. Rennie Grove wrote to every family recorded as having a tree in the woodland to let them know that the area would be out of bounds after this date. The charity has since become aware of one family who did not receive their letter and who subsequently visited the woodland to find the tree planted in memory of their daughter and a memorial stone they had also placed by it were no longer there.

Rennie Grove fully appreciates how upsetting this situation is and has spoken to the family concerned to reassure them that it is doing all it can to reach a satisfactory conclusion to restore the woodland once construction has been completed.  It continues to work tirelessly on behalf of all the families who have trees in the Woodland to secure the restoration of the area for them, their loved ones and the local community to use as a place of remembrance and reflection.

For further information please contact us here.