The Trust chose the name Heartwood Forest from a list of suggestions because of its appropriate associations with the new forest:
- Heart playfully combines ‘Hert’, for the location in Hertfordshire, and ‘Hart’ an old English word for stag – the symbol of Hertfordshire.
- Small-leafed lime trees, such as those found in Heartwood Forest, have heart-shaped leaves. Small-leaved lime trees are increasingly rare and a sure indicator of ancient woodland.
- Heartwood is a central hardwood core found in many broadleaved trees. As the tree ages, it is this hollowing heartwood which often supports hundreds of rare and threatened species of wildlife, and helps it to survive for many years by recycling nutrients as it decays.
- The heart is a life-giving organ and trees are the life force of this planet. This new forest will be a much needed lifeline for the UK’s diminished native woodland. It will also be a great outdoor space in which people can experience all the benefits of exercise and getting closer to nature.
- The Trust hopes the new forest will be a green heart at the centre of its woodland creation work - a thriving new habitat for wildlife for everyone to enjoy.
The name doesn't trip off the tongue yet for me, I can see the marketing potential of such a name, but time will tell whether we all embrace it. In the meantime I think I'll suggest to Robin that he might like a little business sideline of carving wooden heart paperweights, ornaments and other knick-knackery – we’re going to have to think of ways to get through this recession.