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Published December 4th 2020
New national collection of Witch Hazel takes shape
A Midlands company is marking its landmark 150th anniversary by planting a copse of trees at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The donation of the 15 Hamamelis, or Witch Hazel, by leading Derbyshire door distributor JB Kind will also comprise the start of what the Arboretum intends to develop as a new national collection of the variety in the future. Each of the new Hamamelis represents one decade since JB Kind's founder, John Blower Kind, started out as a joiner back in 1870. Witch hazel produces beautiful winter flowers, with the 15 having been selected for the vibrant flowers of red, yellow and orange they will produce between December and February. Next to the copse of trees will be an interpretation panel enabling visitors to find out a bit more about the Hamamelis variety.
L to R: James Cadman, managing director of JB Kind, Andy Ansell, head of estates at the National Memorial Arboretum, Philippa Rawlinson, Arboretum managing director, and Tina Jones, JB Kind marketing manager. Photo credit @PhillipNixon
JB Kind managing director James Cadman said the company was "very proud" to be celebrating its 150th anniversary, adding: "We can think of no more appropriate way to mark such a significant achievement than by donating 15 trees to the National Memorial Arboretum. We owe our success and longevity to the beauty, strength and practicality of wood. Over the years JB Kind has made many products from timber, from wooden crates to the doors that have been our business since the 1980s. We have huge commitments to sourcing sustainable wood so that we replenish what we use. What better way to celebrate 150 years of JB Kind than by helping our planet by growing more trees for the future. The National Memorial Arboretum is a charity that is close to all our hearts and it is with profound pleasure that we have donated these trees. May they grow and flourish for many years to come."
The National Memorial Arboretum, at Alrewas, near Lichfield, is the nation's year-round centre of Remembrance. The 150-acre site is home to more than 26,000 trees and almost 400 memorials remembering those who have lost their lives in service to their country, in the Armed Forces and civilian services. Andy Ansell, head of estates at the Arboretum, said: "As part of the Arboretum's strategy we are striving to further develop the arboreal interest within our grounds. We are delighted to be able to start a Hamamelis collection that will add additional colour and interest to the Arboretum from December to March. We are grateful to JB Kind for sponsoring the first 15 of these plants to celebrate 150 years since it was founded in nearby Burton upon Trent. It is our ambition to soon become home to a national collection of Hamamelis for all our visitors to enjoy when visiting our inspirational, living landscape." A National Plant Collection, of which there are more than 650 in the UK, is a registered and documented collection of a group of plants, which are part of a registered conservation scheme.
James Cadman and Philippa Rawlinson plant one of the Witch Hazels. Photo credit @PhillipNixon