New oak tree planted in Spenborough for Jo Cox

Jo Coxs family (sister Kim, parents Gordon and Jean) planting a tree for Jo (Image Erica Amende)
Jo Coxs family (sister Kim, parents Gordon and Jean) planting a tree for Jo (Image Erica Amende)

The family of Jo Cox have planted an oak tree in her memory in a woodland space dedicated to her memory.

Spen Valley Civic Society set up the Jo Cox Community Wood on a 3.7 acre site, formerly low-grade pastureland, next to the Spen Valley Greenway and Liversedge Football Club between Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike.

A wintryphoto of the Jo Cox Wood site from Spen Valley Greenway, overlooked by sculptor Sally Matthews Swaledale sheep. (Image Erica Amende)

A wintryphoto of the Jo Cox Wood site from Spen Valley Greenway, overlooked by sculptor Sally Matthews Swaledale sheep. (Image Erica Amende)

As well as planting the oak tree, in memory of civic society member John Appleyard, who died of cancer last July, they created Appleyard’s Orchard.

Jo Cox’s sister and Jo Cox Foundation ambassador, Kim Leadbeater said: “Jo was passionate about nature – she’d love the idea of an outdoor facility which can be used by the community.

“I cannot thank the Spen Valley Civic Society enough for choosing to remember Jo in such a special way.

“A wood that can be used by the whole community is very ‘Jo’ and it’s heart warming to think lots of people will create happy memories there.”

The newly-planted Appleyards Orchard, part of the Jo Cox Memorial Wood. (Image Erica Amende)

The newly-planted Appleyards Orchard, part of the Jo Cox Memorial Wood. (Image Erica Amende)

Civic Society Treasurer, Colin Berry said: “We promised John we’d plant an apple tree for him, but the generosity of people’s donations at his funeral meant we had enough money to buy 11 trees.

“Spen Valley now has a community orchard at one end of the Jo Cox Wood."

The wood is dedicated the former Batley and Spen MP, who was tragically murdered in 2016.

"Hopefully in years to come, local people will be able to pick apples and pears thanks to John.," said Mr Berry.

The planting of the Jo Cox oak inspired the civic society to offer a “Trees for Life” scheme from now until the end of February 2020.

In return for a donation of £50 it will buy, plant, stake and maintain a half-standard native tree, and will give the donor a certificate showing where the tree is planted.

Chairman, Max Rathmell said: “This is a great way to mark a birth, marriage, birthday or anniversary, or to celebrate someone’s life.

“It’s an eco-friendly present that’ll benefit wildlife, improve air quality in Spen Valley and be a positive symbol of a person’s life and achievements.”