Balloonist discovers hidden memorial from a farmer to his wife

He laid out the fledgling trees in a six-acre field but left a perfect heart shape in the middle – with the point facing in the direction of her childhood home.

“I thought it was a great idea – it was a flash on inspiration – and I planted several thousand oak trees.

“Once it was completed we put a seat in the field, overlooking the hill near where she used to live. I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things. It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years.”

Winston Howes, who owns an 112-acre farm near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, decided to seed housewife Janet’s legacy after she died from heart failure in 1995, aged 50…

He created with the wood using small oak trees next to his farmhouse in the months after her death – marking out an acre-long heart with a large bushy hedge…

“The heart points towards Wotton Hill, where Janet is from.

“We plant daffodils in the middle that come up in the spring – it looks great. I go out there from time to time and sit in the seat I created…

Mr Howes’s memorial was shown in all its glory after keen hot air balloonist Andy Collett, 42, from Wotton-Under-Edge, Glos., soared over the wood last week…The transport businessman could not believe his eyes when he discovered the symbol of love hidden among the trees.

He said: “I have my own balloon and am quite a regular flyer – but this was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky.

“It was a perfect heart hidden away from view – you would not know it was there…”You can just imagine the love story.”

I don’t get to blog very often with my eyes filled with tears of love and hope. In a world filled with turmoil and greed it’s easy to forget we are a species who believe in love.

Thank you Winston Howes.

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