Our late and much respected member Ian Wallace was a renowned botanist who had performed many botanical surveys as a volunteer with the National Trust at Fountains Abbey and throughout Nidd Gorge with the Bilton Conservation Group. One claim to fame was his discovery of what is believed to be * the most northerly specimen of the rare Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis) in England. How fitting then to plant another Wild Service Tree in Ian’s memory, just slightly north of the *naturally-occurring specimen.
A service for a service to Botany?
Friends and members of the Bilton Conservation Group, Harrogate and District Naturalists’ Society and the National Trust witnessed the planting. It was the rutting season and as Mavis and Ian’s family spread soil over the new trees roots a magnificent Red Deer stag mounted the crag opposite and roared defiantly!
Ian’s son Nigel had engraved a water-worn cobble from the river Skell nearby which he buried beneath the tree.
We are grateful to Michael Ridsdale, Landscape Manager of the Fountains Abbey Estate and his staff for all their help in achieving this unique tribute.