Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter has said he would “be chuffed” after the Trees for Tom initiative raised £100,000 in less than a week.
Sir Tom’s family selected two environmental charities to grow his “legacy forest” on their behalf – the Woodland Trust in the UK, and TreeSisters internationally.
The money donated so far means that plans for 50,000 trees across the tropics and the creation of a memorial woodland in Yorkshire are closer than ever.
“It has been an incredible journey, when you think about what a big week this has been for our family,” Lucy Teixeira, 52, told the PA news agency.
“The message for Trees for Tom has really caught the imagination and I’m just quite amazed that £100,000 has been raised towards trees.
“It was not my intention to have any target whatsoever. I just wanted people to be able to honour my father’s name with this idea of planting a tree that will last many lifetimes.
“Would he be chuffed? Absolutely, he was that man all about nature, being outside most of his life.”
Cali White, the head of partnerships for TreeSisters, said: “It’s wonderful to think that his spirit will be carried across the world in 50,000 trees planted across Brazil, Kenya, Mozambique, Cameroon, Madagascar, Nepal, India West Papua and Borneo; trees which not only play a vital role in our fight against climate change but will also provide habitat for endangered species and long-term employment for local people, especially women.”
Second World War veteran Sir Tom captured the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first coronavirus lockdown, when he walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday, raising more than £32 million for the NHS.
He died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.
Mrs Teixeira said: “The funeral was quite powerful. We were in the public eye, most unexpectedly. I feel very happy that it was a very special day, and that all our family could be together honouring him.
“Following him to the crematorium and seeing for myself how much love there was for my father and his message of hope… thank you to everybody who went out of their way to recognise his last day.”