Michael's Acre

Michaels Acre

A woodland acre grove together with a bench in Michael’s memory has given fans and friends of the beloved late humanitarian star the chance to leave a personal tribute whilst at the same time ensuring that his love of trees, his concern for the nature and the planet, and his song lyrics pleading for us to take care of the environment were not in vain.

  

What is Michael's Acre?

The collective aim of this initiative was to raise the necessary funds (£3000 in all, approximately $4,500 USD) to adopt an acre of protected living woodland in the UK, in Michael's memory, together with the placing of a commemorative bench (with a plaque dedicated in Michael Jackson’s honour) in the said acre. An acre (0.4 hectare) is approximately the size of a small football/soccer pitch. Typically, an acre will contain about 100 mature trees, although since each wood is unique, the number of trees will depend on whether the acre comprises a young woodland or an ancient forest.

  

Thanks to the amazingly generous people listed below, Michael's Acre was fully funded by mid-January 2013. Donors were given the chance to choose a prefered location from several different woodlands throughout the UK.  The location, finalised and confirmed in May 2013, is in Kent's stunning Hucking Estate. Kent is a perfect location, given that Michael intended to reside in Kent had his sold-out concerts at London's 02 arena been a reality.  It is a convenient location for those travelling from London as well as for those travelling from Europe to the UK by sea.

  

Trees in this woodland are dedicated once and once only.  What does this mean, exactly?  Well, it means that now Michael has an acre of protected woodland dedicated in his memory, it will stay dedicated in his memory.

  

Dedicated Bench 

An individually-crafted bench with a personalised plaque is situated in Michael's dedicated acre. The bench is made from certified oak hardwood - which is naturally resistant to decay - and has been made by expert craftsmen to very high and resilient standards.What's more, the bench is situated right next to a beautiful large ancient oak tree, reminiscent of Michael's beloved 'Giving Tree' at his Neverland Ranch home, where he would create some of his most inspiring songs. The wording on the dedication plaque is as follows:

 

In loving memory of Michael Jackson:

beloved icon and tireless humanitarian.

Michael's Acre has been made possible by

fans worldwide whose lives his gentle

spirit touched. "What about flowering

fields, is there a time?" ~ Earth Song.

 

 

Visiting Michael's Acre

By rail:

The nearest railway station is at Hollingbourne - about 35 minutes' walk away. We would advice that you take a taxi cab from there to Hucking Estate and can recommend Justin at Streamline Travel on 01622-750000. The cab with Streamline will cost around £10.00 one way, but it is well worth the journey since the estate is otherwise hard to find and will incur a walk up quite a steep path. If you do want to walk, take the path from the station's car park up the bank immediately opposite the old station building, turn right over the style and join the public right of way. Follow this into the filed and carefully cross the railway using the kissing gates. Follow the public right of way straight ahead across the field, heading towards the farm at the foot of the Downs. On reaching the road, turn left and then immediately right at the farm entrance. Follow this track (which is part of the old Droveway) past the cottages and up onto the Downs. When you reach the top of the hill you will be at Hucking Estate.

By Car:

From Junction 8 of the M20, follow the signs to Lenham and Leeds Castle. At the second roundabout, take the road signed to Hollingbourne. Pass through the village and continue up the hill. At the top of the hill turn left and follow the signposts to Hucking. The Woodland Trust's car part can be found on the left just before entering Hucking village. The 5km red route (as shown on the map below) can be accessed from here.

Finding the bench:

Take a look at the two maps below, and you will be able to easily and accurately locate the acre of dedicated ancient woodland, now protected for posterity in Michael's memory.  As you will see, much of the acre can be located in Smokes Wood, in the very heart of the Hucking Estate's ancient woodland, while some of it stretches into London Wood. The entire acre encompasses stunning scenery. To easily find the path on which the dedicated bench will be situated, simply look at the shape of London Wood on both maps. You will see horseshoes representing a path alongside the left of London Wood.  Follow that path and the old ancient oak tree will be a perfect landmark as you get closer to the dedicated bench.

 

Good map

MA map

 

 MichaelsAcre MJL logo for bench

 ABOVE: The official logo for the Michael's Acre project.  RIGHT: The logo that appears on the dedication bench, alongside the Woodland Trust's logo. The Woodland Trust own and take care of the land.  Both logos above have been painted so beautifully by our super-talented artist, Mimi.

 

Michael- in his own words: 

 "I remember writing 'Earth Song' when I was in Austria, in a hotel. And I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth. And for me, this is Earth's Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man's mismanagement of the Earth. And with the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain, and she has wounds, and it's about some of the joys of the planet as well. But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet. And this is 'Earth Song.' And that's what inspired it. And it just suddenly dropped into my lap when I was on tour in Austria." - Michael Jackson

 

"I love the Planet, I love the trees. I have this thing for trees - the colours and changing of leaves. I love it. I respect those kind of things." - Michael Jackson

 

“What about flowering fields? Is there a time?” – Michael Jackson (Earth Song) 

 

"I respect the secrets and magic of nature...I have this thing for trees..." "What about forest trails? We've turned kingdoms to dust." "We have to take care of the planet, we've got four years to get it right, or, it's irreversible the damage we've done." - Michael Jackson

 

“The earth we all share is not just a rock tossed through space but a living, nurturing being. She cares for us; she deserves our care in return. We've been treating Mother Earth the way some people treat a rental apartment. Just trash it and move on. But there's no place to move on to now. We have brought our garbage and our wars and our racism to every part of the world. We must begin to clean her up, and that means cleaning up our own hearts and minds first, because they led us to poison our dear planet.” - Michael Jackson 

 

Dedication bench

 

Dedicated donors who made Michael's Acre possible (from highest to lowest)

Fans from 21 different countries have raised the £3000 necessary for this endeavour to be completed. Those countries were:  Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Vietnam, and Wales.

UK residents and visitors to the UK from across the world will now have a quiet and beautiful area in which to meet and enjoy remembering Michael, and the donors below who contributed to the success of this initiative will always be able to rest in the knowledge that they have helped a piece of living woodland to survive.  Michael's awe-inspiring composition "Earth Song," is testament to his love of the earth and its power to nourish, nurture and sustain. This project is an endeavour to protect the earth's rare beauty and ceaseless wonder for future generations to marvel at, revel in and enjoy.

Cynthia K USA
Anne-Marie A Sweden
Christine W Sweden
Kathrin S Germany
Judith M USA
Paula F USA
Grazia, Sara, Annamaria, Ada and Melina Italy
Kaye C Australia
Jennie P Ireland
Cynthia J USA
Kerry H Australia
Christiane R Canada
Maria M Unknown
Margaret L Wales
Joyce F USA
Irene E Netherlands
Sonja F Germany
Sue N USA
Irene E Norway
Mary P USA
Tori T England
Sylvia S USA
Sharon K Unknown
Jan C USA
Ann-Christin H Norway
Cynthia M USA
Aussie Blooms for Michael Australia
Eva-Maria H Austria
Karen E for Nibsy (RIP) England
Karen E for Jacob (RIP) USA
Mary A Australia
Grace B Australia
Lauren T USA
Marry A Netherlands
Cee P England
Suzanne T England
Julie D England
Michelle H England
Anna T Italy
Geertje W Netherlands
Susan T USA
Theresa B USA
Kimberly D USA
Charlene B USA
Darla M USA
Lali E and Eti P Russia
Angela M Ireland
Daniele S Brazil
Beverly-Ann V South Africa
Marjorie R Scotland
Susan C USA
Dee P England
Becci H for Jack (RIP) England
Christine W Netherlands
Annelie L Sweden
Becci H England
Barbara S England
Jacqui M England
Anusha S England
Charlotte H England
Geraldine W England
Valerie S Unknown
Anne-Laure P France
Kim A New Zealand
Michelle S USA
Karlene J Trinidad & Tobago
Mien H Vietnam
Michela T Italy
Doris G USA
Barbara S Germany
Deborah D England
Maria K Greece
Elvira D Australia
Sue S England
Jennifer B England

 

The three highest giving countries from largest to smallest were:

1. USA (£777.22)

2. Sweden (£277.92)

3. England (£227.05)

THANK YOU FOR KEEPING MICHAEL'S LEGACY OF LOVE ALIVE!