Lancashire

New trees replanted at Fleetwood Memorial Park

Norman Gallagher, Keira Smith and her mother Kelly Parker
Image caption Keira gets help from Norman Gallagher to plant the last tree

An avenue in a Lancashire park dedicated to servicemen from World War I is being returned to its former glory by young and old victims of war.

Warrenhurst Park in Fleetwood was renamed Memorial Park and trees were planted on 11 November 1925 by children who had lost their fathers in WWI.

The trees had become diseased and, 85 years on, 18 new ones were replanted in a Remembrance Day ceremony.

Four-year-old Keira Smith and Norman Gallagher, 71, planted the last tree.

Keira is the daughter of Royal Marine Darren Smith from Fleetwood who was killed in 2009 while on tour in Afghanistan.

Mr Gallagher lost his grandfather, Charles Gallagher of the King's Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster 6th Battalion in WWI and his father, John Gallagher of the 3rd Carabiniers Prince of Wales' Dragoon Guards, in World War II.

'Leafy glory'

Both their relatives are named on the memorial plaque in the Memorial Park.

The Friends of Memorial Park group took advantage of a Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council initiative to create new woodlands by replacing the trees on Memorial Avenue.

Michelle Hargreaves, fund-raiser for the group, said: "The founders of Fleetwood Memorial Park created it to remind future generations of the sacrifices made by local people during wartime, but they also left a legacy to keep their original vision for the park intact."

She added: "It's a very special place and there is a great affection for the park locally and hopefully people will hold it in high regard, especially now it will be restored to its former green and leafy glory."

The Woodlands from Waste programme with Global Renewables Lancashire Ltd aims to plant 2.5m saplings in Lancashire over the next 25 years.

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