Love is in the air at Charlecote Park

Rachel and Lee, seen here at Warwick Castle © Rachel McCombie

Rachel and Lee, seen here at Warwick Castle

Two local pilots will be marking Valentine’s Day in a very special way this year.

Rachel McCombie and Lee Ingram spent their first date at Charlecote Park, near Wellesbourne, just over two years ago and they will be planting a tree in the grounds of the National Trust property on 14 February to mark the special place that Charlecote has had in their lives ever since.

The first date

Lee took Rachel flying for their first date back in October 2012. After stopping at Wellesbourne Airfield to re-fuel, they went for a walk at Charlecote Park before continuing on their way. A year and a half later, the happy couple now live together in Stratford-upon-Avon. Lee and Rachel also run a business together, Air Experiences, which offers gift vouchers for flying lessons all over the country, including from Wellesbourne Airfield.

Tree planting at Charlecote

The couple will be planting their tree on Valentine’s Day as part of Charlecote Park’s Celebration Trees project, a programme to plant 20 new trees during 2014 as part of the tree management plan.

Lisa Topham, Park and Garden Manager at Charlecote Park, said, 'Since 2010 we’ve planted 50 new trees in the parkland at Charlecote and this year we have 20 more to plant. We thought it would be great if these 20 trees were planted by visitors and local organisations who have a special connection with Charlecote Park.

'In the past trees have often been planted as a memorial, but we wanted these to be planted in celebration of something positive, whether that’s a birth, a marriage or a blossoming relationship, like for Lee and Rachel.'

The happy couple

Lee Ingram said, 'I’m lucky enough to fly over Charlecote every day. I decided to take Rachel there on our first date and every time we fly over Charlecote now, we know it means we’re nearly home and it reminds us of where our relationship started. We’re looking forward to making an annual Valentine’s Day pilgrimage to visit our tree.'

Would you like to plant your own tree?

Lisa and the team are still on the search for people to plant a celebration tree. If you have something to celebrate during 2014 and if your story links with Charlecote in some way, please email us or call 01789 470277.

Find out more about the Celebration Trees project or check it out on Twitter.

Take to the skies with Air Experiences.