Judi Dench and her memorial woodland
No wonder Judi Dench is a national treasure! Who else preserves the memory of their late friends by planting carefully chosen trees in their own private woodland?
One of the more engaging TV programmes thrust upon us during the televisual mayhem of the festive season was Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees. This lovely documentary was rather refreshing amidst a slew of Two Ronnies re-runs, films you never knew you didn’t want to watch and Chas and Dave’s Christmas knees-up from 35 years ago.
It all started yonks ago (the tree business, not Chas and Dave’s party down the boozer) when Judi planted a tree in memory of her late husband the actor Michael Williams. Now there are trees galore, many of which commemorate friends who are no longer with us..
“I think of my trees as part of my extended family,” explained the 83-year-old. During the programme she even planted a yew tree in memory of her old friend the actor Robert Hardy who, when not on stage or screen, was one of Britain’s foremost experts on longbows.