Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard
Another member of the armed forces remembered through woodland dedication was Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard of No. 1 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment, who died on 7 August, 2007, aged 20. Martin had been on patrol in Basra when the group he was with came under attack from gunfire as they travelled through Al Waki market. He lived in Ripley in Derbyshire and had planned to marry his long-term girlfriend Nicola Parkin on June 22 2008.
Woodland dedication seemed like a brilliant idea to me as it's a beautiful tribute to my fiancé that is going to last a long time', said Nicola. 'Martin and I used to love going walking as a way of spending precious time together and this type of memorial seemed so fitting.
Nicola set up an on-line Group Fund in Martin's memory which raised enough donations from family, friends, his regiment and other well-wishers to dedicate an acre with commemorative post in Birches Wood, Ambergate, Derby. The grove will carry Martin's name forever, so will always remain a very special place for his family and friends to visit.