Surrey County Council Chairman Sally Marks was among dignitaries who welcomed The Princess Royal to the opening of woodland created to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The Woodland Trust’s 640-acre site near Epsom, features more than 200,000 trees planted to create an enduring memorial. It is situated between Woodcote Park and Tadworth military camps, where thousands of recruits passed through on the way to the trenches.
Members of the public will be able to dedicate trees to ancestors at the woods.
Mrs Marks said: “This project is a fitting way to mark the centenary of the First World War and I was delighted to be invited to the official opening in the presence of The Princess Royal.
“I do hope thousands of people visit the centenary woods and what better way to remember a lost friend or family member by naming a tree in their honour.”