Historic Hampshire woods will be full of arty surprises to mark Jubilee year

CREATIVE A wood carving at Hollybank Woods
CREATIVE A wood carving at Hollybank Woods
The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

Flag from HMS Victory and Lord Nelson’s love letters up for sale at London auction

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IF you go down to the woods in Emsworth, you’re sure of a big surprise.

Hollybank Woods will be decorated with all kinds of weird and wonderful art.

Local children from eight schools in the Emsworth area have been helping to decorate trees and make paper bugs.

People are being invited to explore the beauty spot, as well as a wood-carving trail, between 2pm and 5pm on Saturday, May 26.

The event will also see the unveiling of a plantation of 500 tree saplings to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

An area of 1.6 acres has been cleared of brambles and bracken to make way for the plantation.

Saplings of English trees like oak, rowan and hawthorn were planted by schoolchildren and it is hoped it will encourage even more wildlife to flourish at the beauty spot.

Rodney Smith, vice-chairman of Friends of Hollybank Woods, said: ‘We are going to have a woodland fair with lots of country crafts like wood turners and bee keepers.

‘There will be boards put up to explain the new estate.

‘It’s completely free and it should be a lot of fun.’

The area is a remnant of the Forest of Bere and has been documented from Roman times, and was established as a wood pasture in Saxon times and a Royal Forest in Norman times.

The arts project is being supported by Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival.

The project has been made possible thanks to support from Natural England, the Big Lottery Fund, Havant Borough Council, Friends of Hollybank Woods and South West Trains.

Parking on the day will be available in Hollybank Lane.

For more information call Mr Smith on 07810 288122.