Famous fan for Hackfall

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A RIPON nature spot has attracted a high profile fan in Oscar winning actress Dame Judi Dench.

The star has named the woodland site, near Grewelthorpe, as her favourite woodland in the UK.

“One of my favourite woods is Hackfall, near Ripon in North Yorkshire. It’s full of oak, beech, sycamore, ash and 18th- century lime trees. It was badly neglected for half a century, but the Woodland Trust have brought it back to its former glory, restoring the woodland walks.”

York-born Dame Judi and has spoken of her support for plans to plant a million new trees around the UK to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

She said:

“Whenever a friend or relative dies, I make a point of planting a tree in my garden. As soon as I heard about the Jubilee Woods project, I felt I wanted to be a part of it. I support the Woodland Trust because I think too many forests are being destroyed and we should do all we can to conserve what we have and to plant more. The more trees I see, the happier I am.”

Hackfall has a been a favourite spot since it was created in the eighteenth century by famous landscaper John Aislabie, the man behind Studley Royal gardens, and his son William.

It was restored in recent with a Heritage Lottery grant, and last year took a prestigious European culture prize.

The Woodland Trust, which owns the Hackfall site, has set out to plant one million trees in February and six million trees throughout 2012 including 60 new “Jubilee Woods” to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.