A very moving service was held in Rozelle Park in Ayr to celebrate the completion of the first stage of the park’s remembrance woodland project, which began in 2015 as part of the World War 1 centenary commemorations taking place from 2014 to 2018.
The brief, but poignant service was held in the midst of the sculptures and poems were read by members of 52nd Lowland Volunteers, 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (6 SCOTS).
The project allows the woodland to grow naturally (as many woodlands have on former battlefields worldwide) and includes the creation of a sculpture trail 0f wooden sculptures in the shape of WW1 soldiers and other war-related figures (including tanks and poppies) carved from felled trees by professional chainsaw carvers. The carvings are based on a series of local photographs and includes a German soldier surveying the woodlands with his binoculars.
The woodland is being created by the South Ayrshire Council in conjunction with the Maclaurin Trust and the sculptures are funded by the David Elder Edward Trust. New paths are being made for the sculpture trail, and new features (including carvings and images) will be added to the area as time goes on and will feature other conflicts such as World War 2, the Falklands and the Middle East conflicts.
South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie said: “The beauty of the developing woodland and artistry of the sculptures is absolutely breathtaking and can’t fail to move anyone visiting Rozelle. The sacrifices and achievements of those who have served our country must always be remembered and this new Remembrance Woodland – which we believe is the only one of its kind in Scotland – is the perfect way to do just that.
“Our motto is ‘ne’er forget the people’ and the Rozelle Remembrance Woodland will keep our service personnel, their families, their memories and their legacies alive every day for many years to come.”
The sculpture trail is believed to be the only memorial of its kind in Scotland and will provide a quiet place in which visitors may reflect on the past.