Tarmac recently joined a host of national and local partners for an event commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the National Memorial Arboretum.
To mark the significant occasion, the National Memorial Arboretum hosted a celebratory event for key stakeholders and supporters, reflecting on the incredible journey since first opening its doors to the public 20 years ago.
Among the attendees were members of the civic society, key partners and representatives from the Armed Forces, emergency services, academia, Lichfield District Council and other government bodies.
During the event the National Memorial Arboretum’s managing director, Philippa Rawlinson, and chair of the board of trustees, David Whimpenny, gave an update on the Arboretum’s new vision for modern remembrance, which was unveiled earlier this year.
The National Memorial Arboretum, which is part of the Royal British Legion, officially opened its doors to the public on 16 May 2001. Over the last 20 years, the Arboretum has grown into an inspirational living landscape where families, friends and comrades can celebrate lives lived and remember lives lost.
The land the Arboretum stands on was gifted by Tarmac on a 999-year peppercorn lease. The 150-acre site was previously part of Tarmac’s Alrewas quarry which had been restored after the sand and gravel extraction in that area was complete.
This year, the two organisations entered into a new 980-year lease agreement for a 25-acre plot that will be used to create a living memorial commemorating the lives lost during the pandemic.
Nick Atkins, strategic planning manager at Tarmac, said: “We were delighted to be able to join the National Memorial Arboretum for their 20th anniversary celebrations. We’re immensely proud of our work at Alrewas and of our long-term partnership with the National Memorial Arboretum.
“It’s extremely rewarding for us to see this former quarry site become a lasting tribute to those who have served our country, as well as such a fantastic home for wildlife, and somewhere visitors of all ages can appreciate for generations to come.”
Andy Ansell, head of estates at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Tarmac played a fundamental role in the establishment of the Arboretum and remains a key strategic partner in our further development. Together we have created a fantastic tribute to all who have served and sacrificed their lives, both in the Armed Forces and in civilian services.
“The gifting of further land enables us to work hand-in-hand with the National Forest and create a new memorial woodland, featuring water, wildlife and sculpture, and helping our visitors understand and come to terms with the loss and hardship the pandemic has caused.”
Find out more about the National Memorial Arboretum here.