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Sir David Attenborough opens Coed y Bedw

12 November 1985

Sir David Attenborough chats with a youngster while Dr Mary Gillham watches on. Picture by Cliff Woodhead

Living in Gwaelod, Coed y Bedw was very much in Mary’s back yard and she visited with great regularity throughout her life. Mary evidently cared to such a great deal about Coed y Bedw that she contributed financially to the purchase of the land when it was bought in 1985.

To mark the opening of the woodland as a Wildlife Trust reserve, Sir David was invited along and planted a beech tree within the wood. Mary records this momentous occasion in her archive, describing (unsurprisingly) the weather conditions as well as the attendees.

In a 2010 film Mary was asked about the beech tree and, although she wasn’t sure where it was, it is safe and well in the centre of the reserve. Watch the video by Robin Davies-Rollinson below:

Mary Gillham MBE from Robin Davies-Rollinson on Vimeo.

Thanks go to long-time Coed y Bedw volunteer warden Cliff Woodhead for the pictures he took during the opening ceremony. You can see what the reserve looks like now by taking a look at the write up of our guided walk to Coed y Bedw.