By: Blonde One

You would think by now that we would all have discovered all there was to discover on our own doorsteps. After goodness knows how many days in lockdown and only being able to walk from our own homes, you might assume that there is nothing new to find and that all corners have been explored! Well not so for me! I walked around Stover Country Park recently, as I have done many many times and enjoyed the lakes and the stunning woodland scenery all around me. I decided to take a track that I hadn’t been on before which took me away from the lake. It was a lovely little path with a couple of bridges and a few signs that pointed the direction to a Canadian Memorial Sculpture. Intriguing, I thought! After not too long (half a mile to be precise) I saw in the distance a Canadian flag waving at me. Just one more turn in the path and I was faced with the most beautiful war memorial. The carved figures and horse, sculpted by Andrew Frost, looked stunning in the May sunshine and the information board told me a tale that I hadn’t ever heard before. Apparently Canadian soldiers came over to Stover woodland during World War One to help fell trees that would be used to help the war effort. These ‘Sawdust Fusiliers’ were invaluable in providing their skills to get this job done and were apparently welcomed by locals.

After the war, Stover woodland was planted up again to replace the 700 acres of felled trees with the aide of the local Land Girls from Seale Hayne Agricultural College. What a fascinating history tucked away in the corner just on my doorstep!