The Gurkha Memorial Forest


2 sites in collection

Total ha

0.38 ha

About this collection

Working in partnership with Nepalese NGO The Mithila Wildlife Trust (MWT), the Divisional Forest Office (DFO) and the local communities/authorities, we are creating a wildlife corridor in Dhanusha District, southeast Nepal. This will run between Nepal’s wooded mid-hills and the Dhanushadham Protected Forest (DPF), following the course of the Baluwa river. The DPF is the last vestige of virgin forest that once covered Nepal’s southern plains. The corridor will be a safe migratory route for wild elephants, sloth bears, hyenas, leopards and a range of other animals. Tree cover will reduce the likelihood of human-wildlife conflicts. The reforestation will involve a merger of two distinct elements; a 10km long reforestation/afforestation of the Baluwa River banks from north to south and the creation of a 2km long Gurkha Memorial Forest running northeast from DPF to meet the Baluwa river. The Gurkha Memorial Forest section will consist of 13 "Miyawaki" forest clusters (one for each Victoria Cross won since 1939) connected by conventional plantations. In total, this will involve planting 120,000 saplings, one for each Gurkha who served in the British and Indian armies in World War 2. The Miyawaki forests will be sited on land purchased by MWT to ensure longevity. In due course, the Forest will incorporate a trail that will run from a visitor centre at DPF to the Baluwa River where there will be a satellite information centre. Creation of a VC Forest involves the purchase of land for each plantation (in the name of MWT) to ensure that the trees are managed properly in perpetuity. The cost of each forest therefore varies according to what sites come available and fluctuations in land prices. However, a forest costs on average £25,000, this to include UK support costs @ 10%. We plant forests as funds come available until the last one is completed in honour of Captain Ram Bahadur Limbu VC who is the last surviving Gurkha VC and one of only four VC holders who are still alive.

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