Donations create 800 tree woodland memorial to tragic grandfather

The new Roskell wood. (S)
The new Roskell wood. (S)

A lasting legacy has been created in tribute to a loving grandfather who died after disappearing for several days last year.

Graham Roskell, 65, went missing from Harrogate Hospital on November 3 while undergoing treatment for a brain infection which left him confused and disorientated.

After a huge search to find the Kirk Hammerton man, a retired policeman, his body was found near Wetherby more than a week later.

Now, hundreds of people who were touched by his tale and by his family’s inspiring search to find him have helped to create a woodland in his memory.

Roskell Wood, made up of more than 800 newly planted tree saplings, has now been created in High Skyreholme near Appletreewick with local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT).

“We are pleased to have been able to help the family in ensuring that this memorial woodland came to fruition,” said Chris Lodge, woodland officer at YDMT.

“Thanks to the huge level of support we received, more than 800 trees have been dedicated in memory of Graham.”

Mr Roskell loved the countryside and his family felt that a woodland dedication would be one he could have enjoyed.

Donations were contributed from 211 individuals and organisations wishing to pay tribute, including people from as far away as Australia.

In total the appeal raised enough money to plant 816 new native broadleaf trees in ‘Roskell Wood’.

The site has been planted with a mixture of rowan, birch, hazel, aspen, hawthorn, small-leaved lime, goat willow, sessile oak and holly saplings, a small number of which have been planted by his family.

“The wood is situated in a beautiful location, offering a lovely view of Simon’s Seat,” said Mr Lodge.

“Over the coming years the trees will grow and mature to create an important wildlife habitat and a lasting legacy for Graham.

“We are also very grateful to the landowner for their kind support which helped make this project possible.”

More trees can be dedicated by calling YDMT on 01524 251002 or by visiting