MSA Trust opens ‘Sarah’s Wood’ in Sherwood Forest for those affected by devastating condition


The Multiple System Atrophy Trust (MSA Trust) has opened a site in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, to cultivate an oak wood to mark the occasion of the Trust’s 20th anniversary. The opening of ‘Sarah’s Wood’ took place on Tuesday 13th June 2017 where supporters planted the first oak saplings. Everyone who joins the MSA Trust will be given the opportunity to have an oak tree planted in their name and as the oak trees grow, the forest will become a symbol of hope to those who live with this terrible condition and their families.

The Wood is named after the Trust’s founder, Sarah Matheson, who was diagnosed with the rare neurological condition MSA and had nowhere to turn to for support. Sarah’s brother, Hugh Matheson, has provided the two-hectare site and opened it following a celebratory afternoon tea in the grounds of Thoresby Estate for members of the Trust and supporters.

Hugh Matheson: ‘Hope has been the theme from the very start of the MSA Trust and the momentum of hope has led us to the idea that every person with MSA will be given the opportunity to have an oak sapling set aside in their name. We hope people with MSA, their families and friends will know that there is a place in the very middle of England where they are represented by a tree growing and thriving in a wood that will, in its maturity, merge and become one with the ancient oaks of Sherwood.’

Linda Nicolaides, whose husband passed away from MSA seven years ago, attended the opening of the Wood: ‘I found the day humbling as I met many folk with the disease and their carers, who are doing a lot to promote awareness of MSA as well as fundraising activities and other voluntary work. I also found the day quite moving, especially when Hugh explained the reason he had been inspired to plant ‘Sarah's Wood’. I potted an oak sapling and hope to be able to visit the Wood during the coming winter months.’


For photos of the event please visit our Flickr page (MSA Trust Admin):

Notes to Editors: The MSA Trust is the UK and Ireland’s leading charity supporting people affected by MSA. The Trust provides its services free of charge to people affected by MSA – they include MSA Nurse Specialists, a Support Group network and an email and telephone support service. The Trust also funds vital research to find the cause, and one day, cure for MSA.

Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare neurological disease that leads to premature death. It causes brain cells to shrink resulting in severe problems with multiple bodily functions. People with MSA often end up in need of full time care, doubly incontinent and in some cases unable to communicate, swallow or move. Some people with MSA say it feels like the disease traps them in their own bodies. There is no known cause or cure for MSA.

Contact: Karen Walker, Chief Executive, MSA Trust: / 0333 323 4591 / 07710 312552 /

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of MSA Trust, on Tuesday 20 June, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow

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MSA Trust opens ‘Sarah’s Wood’ in Sherwood Forest for those affected by devastating condition