A beautiful oak tree planting took place at Dalemain at 12 noon on Sunday 11th December 2016 to celebrate the partnership between Dalemain and the Girl Guides.

Jane Knight explains that an original Dalemain tree was planted in 1985 when Girlguiding UK was 75 years old, as a thank you to Jane Hasell-McCosh for all she had done for Guiding in North Cumbria over the years. Jane McCosh was the Girl Guiding County President and Jane Knight the County Commissioner at that time. A tree was chosen as a gift to Jane because it represented “growth” and therefore showed how the girls and young women in the Guide movement would grow and develop during their time Guides, and in this way achieve their full potential as adults. It also represented the strength and longevity of the partnership between Dalemain and the Guides.

The original tree was a Sweet Chestnut, but this new tree is an oak. Jane McCosh says: ‘This tree is so special to Dalemain because the original panelling installed when Dalemain was built is oak, which is recognised widely for the quality of the carving and workmanship it displays.’

The tree planting ceremony was attended by two members of the Girlguiding Cumbria North Senior Section (Sophie and Amy Slater) as 2016 is the Centenary of the Senior Section (for 14-25 year old guides), as Rangers were first formed in 1916. Sophie and Amy, who are both young Guiders from Egremont, represented the future of Girlguiding Cumbria North.

dalemainhousejune2016-8591The oak tree is special to the partnership between guiding and Dalemain because acorns are a food for mice, and Mrs Mouse will be the theme of children’s activities at the World’s Original Marmalade Festival next year. The guides assist Dalemain with the Marmalade Festival each year, and have been organising activities for young children visiting the marmalade festival for over 10 years. The marmalade festival is held to raise money for Hospice at Home and other local charities. Next year the festival is due to be held on Sat 18th /19th March 2017 at Penrith and Dalemain. “Mrs Mouse”, who was invented to entertain Mrs McCosh’s children when they were small, has a secret house in the stairs at Dalemain.

The people who attended the planting ceremony were: Jane Hasell-McCosh, Jane Knight, Julie Walton (County Commissioner), Georgina Stephenson (Cumbria East Division Commissioner), Debbie Keighley (County Senior Section Adviser) and Sophie and Amy Slater (young Guiders from Egremont). The short ceremony included 3 readings by: Amy, Sophie and Georgina. These included words by Robert Baden-Powell (the Founder of the Girl Guide movement), and poems by a Guider, and John Keats.