Locklear’s Wood

A new woodland is being planned for an area of Horsenden West, in memory of Lorence Locklear, who loved Horsenden and before his untimely death in 2020 would draw creative inspiration from its beauty and solace.

Lorence was a dreamer, a poet and someone whose lifestyle didn’t conform to what many expect; he was truly a free spirit. He was a grafter too and when he wasn’t employed on building sites, he would help the rangers and volunteers to look after Horsenden.

To those of us who knew him and enjoyed his company, he was a true friend and a gentleman, always ready to share the ‘craic’. Many locals were sad at Lorence’s passing and felt that his contribution to the upkeep of the area needed to be recognised.

Lorence was very community minded, he would alert the rangers to anti-social behaviour and other problems, he was the eyes and ears of Horsenden, as well as being a good soul.

The area where Locklear’s Wood will be planted

So how better to remember Lorence than to plant a woodland in a part of the hill currently overgrown, where he would spend peaceful days, enjoying the tranquillity of this special place?  

With the help of Horsenden volunteers and groups of corporate volunteers – that’s volunteers who escape their place of work for a day to get stuck into conservation and other community-based work – the overgrown space is being cleared and reshaped with plans for hedging and pathways and new trees. It’s a huge job and will take time, but steady progress is underway in the Autumn of 2022.

The planting mix is likely to include Alder, Crack willow, Goat willow, Birch, Black poplar, Sweet Chestnut, Wild Service plus various species of native hedging plants.

For Lorence

Lorence the man of the meadow,

He was an Irish Rover

He loved to spend the summers days

In fields of grass and clover.

He never troubled anyone

But brought a smile to many,

His riches were his charm and wit,

Though he seldom had a penny.

A handsome lad with sharpish mind

He loved to be wild and free

And always when he crossed my path

Was he very kind to me.

I’ll miss his wit, I’ll miss his smile

I’ll miss his charming way.

For now he’s gone where warm winds blow

And it’s summer every day.

RIP Lorence Locklear. 18:06:1967 – 20:08:2020

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