Your questions

Here's further details and common questions about Celebration Wood at Haweswater. We hope you can find your answer here, but if not our contact details can be found on this page.

A view of re-wriggled rive at Haweswater surrounded my grassland and hills.

Your questions

What is Celebration Wood?

Nestled in the heart of Haweswater, Celebration Wood is a special place to spend some time with your memories. Each tree has been planted in memory of the life of a loved one or to celebrate a special occasion, and will in time grow together to become a wonderful home for nature.

What does my donation cover?

Your donation covers planting a locally-grown tree in the RSPB's Celebration Wood at Haweswater, situated in the beautiful eastern Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can choose from nine native tree species, which will be approximately one metre tall on planting, depending on the species​.

A pair of locally crafted ceramic markers, inscribed with a personalised dedication are included – one to hang on your tree, and one to take home with you.

You may visit your tree in the peace of Haweswater’s Celebration Wood by yourself or with others as often as you like.

What kind of tree can I choose?

The following options are available, depending on time of year and availability. Please contact our Celebration Wood Officer to check which native tree will be best for you.

Sessile Oak – as an ancient native species, oak supports more wildlife than any other tree in the British Isles. It provides habitat for several hundred species of insects, birds and many mosses, liverworts, lichens and more.

Alder – a water lover, this tree also thrives by riversides, where otters can sometimes be found among its roots. Unusually, this broadleaved tree has small cones containing seeds which are eaten by Redpoll, Goldfinch and Siskins.

Willow – a fast-growing tree, the bark of willow was once used for pain relief and led to the development of aspirin, whilst artists still prize willow for weaving and living sculpture as well as its charcoal for drawing.

Rowan – an iconic tree of the fells, also known as Mountain Ash, with bright berries to feed the birds and a wealth of folklore as a protector from harm (and even witchcraft!)

Downy Birch – a pioneering tree which nurtures its slower growing neighbours to help create woodland, it can grow on poorer soils and supports a diverse range of wildlife.

Aspen – identified by its distinctive, shimmering ‘silver spoon’ leaves foliage, Aspen is a tree found in ancient woodland, highly prized on nature reserves and beloved by beavers.

Hawthorn – teeming with wildlife from bugs to birds, it can support 300 species of insects and provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators. The haws are rich in antioxidants and are eaten by migrating birds, such as Redwings, Fieldfares and Thrushes, as well as small mammals.

Crab Apple – in spring, the sweetly scented blossom is pollinated by bees and other insects. The blossom develops into small, yellow-green apple-like fruits. Birds and mammals eat the apples and disperse the seeds.

Bird Cherry - Spring flowers provide an early source of nectar and pollen for bees, later the cherries are eaten by birds, including the Blackbird and Song Thrush, as well as mammals such as the Badger and Wood Mouse.

We will help you choose the right tree for the location.

How do I select my ceramic tree markers?

We will arrange for a pair of handcrafted ceramic markers to be made for you by a Lake District-based ceramicist. You can choose these to be shaped as either an oak leaf or a bird, and you can request a short message (up to 40 characters) to be inscribed on them by the ceramicist before being glazed. One marker will be hung on the tree, and the other is yours to take home with you.

You are welcome to choose not to have tree markers, we will still know which tree is yours on our planting records.

Can I choose the date when the tree is planted?

You can discuss your specific requirements with one of our team. We will certainly do our best to accommodate your wishes.

Do you plant trees all year round?

Our recommended period of planting trees is between November and March (weather permitting). Successful planting in months outside of this period is dependent on suitable ground conditions. We don't tend to plant between May and September, as the ground can be too dry and the tree may struggle to establish itself.

Can I choose where the tree is planted within the wood?

It's best to discuss this with our Celebration Wood officer, Bea Normington. Most locations within the woodland are suitable for all nine species, but we do want to make sure that the most appropriate area for your tree is chosen.

What if I can't attend the tree planting?

We will work with you to find a date to plant your tree that suits you. But if you are unable to join us for the planting, we will email photograph of your tree, its unique number and location. We will hang one of the ceramic markers on your tree and post the other for you to keep.

How do I make my donation?

You can make your donation contacting our Celebration Wood officer, Bea Normington by phone on 07719 078962, or email

How will you spend my donation?

Your donation covers the cost of the RSPB growing and caring for the tree, plus the creation and maintenance of Celebration Wood.

Your donation will also contribute to the RSPB's work at Haweswater in enhancing opportunities for nature to thrive in this corner of the Lake District National Park.

Can I scatter ashes in the Wood?

Ashes can be interred in the ground by the roots of your tree, however we are unable to permit the scattering of ashes.

If you would like to discuss this or would like to request to inter ashes, please contact Celebration Wood Officer Bea Normington ahead of the planting. You'll need to bring the certificate of cremation with you (given to you when ashes are collected from the funeral directors).

Can I plant flowers by the tree?

Due to the sensitivity of habitats and species at Haweswater, we don't allow the planting of any flowers during or after the tree planting.

Can I leave a bouquet of flowers or other tributes by the tree?

Celebration Wood is a natural setting and is designed to support the wildlife of Haweswater. To protect the site, we don't allow any tributes, including flowers, to be left by the trees and we will have to remove any we find. A pair of personalised ceramic markers will be available as part of your donation, one to hang on your tree, and one to keep.

Will I get a plaque by the tree?

The RSPB's Celebration Wood at Haweswater does not contain traditional plaques. You will instead be invited to select locally crafted ceramic tree markers to hang on your tree.

What if the tree I have planted dies?

Each tree comes with a 10-year guarantee. In the unlikely event that the tree should die we will replace the tree free of charge.

Will the grass in the wood be cut and, if so, how often?

Narrow paths will be gently cut through the wood on a regular basis but we will leave most of the grass long in order to encourage wildflowers to grow and insects and small mammals to use the area.

What happens when the wood is full?

If Celebration Wood reaches our recommended capacity for planted trees, we will explore options to develop further woods elsewhere at Haweswater which will also create important habitat corridors.

How tall will the tree be when it is planted?

The tree will be approximately one metre high (depending on species) when it is planted.

I am not a member of the RSPB, does this matter?

No, you do not need to be a member to plant a tree at Celebration Wood.

I would like to become a member, what do I need to do?

We would be happy to sign you up as a member when you visit Haweswater. Alternatively, please call our Supporter Service Team on 01767 693680 or email them: You can also sign up through our website.