Rowcroft Monkey Puzzle Tree entered into national award
10 August 2015
A Rowcroft patient and his wife have entered a unique tree from the hospice’s grounds into the running for a national award.
Rowcroft’s unusual Araucaria araucana, more commonly known as a Monkey Puzzle Tree, has been entered into the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year competition by Newton Abbot couple Stephen and Di Feasby.
The pair fell in love with the tree – so named because it’s the only tree monkeys cannot climb – during Stephen’s weekly visits to the hospice’s Outpatient Centre.
Di explained: “A few months ago my husband was very sadly diagnosed with mesothelioma, a non-curable cancer, and was referred to Rowcroft’s Outpatient Centre.
“Since then we have been visiting the hospice for him to have physiotherapy, art therapy and other services such as reflexology and massage.”
While at Rowcroft the pair spotted the unusual Monkey Puzzle Tree in the hospice’s grounds, which brought back lots of happy family memories.
Di said: “I have many memories of childhood holidays in the Lake District when my cousins and I would sit under our Uncle Joe’s favourite Monkey Puzzle Tree listening to him tell us wonderful stories.
“Imagine my surprise when my husband pointed one out to me in the hospice’s grounds!
“So many memories of happy holidays came flooding back, many of which we have shared with our own children and grandchildren over the years.
“If the Monkey Puzzle Tree was to win the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year, I feel I would be giving a little something back to Rowcroft.”
To be in with a chance of winning the coveted title, Di and Stephen have to submit their entry and then, if successfully shortlisted, embark on a campaign for the unusual tree.
Simon Weal, Estates Manager at Rowcroft Hospice, said: “I am delighted to hear Di and Stephen have found such joy in the grounds of the hospice, and particularly about their personal connection with our Monkey Puzzle Tree.
“The tree they’ve spotted is around twenty five years old and is very prickly; I can understand why it causes monkeys such difficulty!”