MSA Trust

Sarah’s Wood


In June 2017 we opened and began planting Sarah’s Wood, a small copse of oak trees in Nottingham forest, to commemorate our founder and to serve as a symbol of hope and growth to all those living with MSA and the memories of those lost to it. We ask everyone in the community to join us in growing this symbol for years to come.


The History of Sarah’s Wood

In 2017 the MSA Trust reached 20 years of supporting people with MSA.

In May 1997 Sarah Matheson and a group of close friends met to discuss the possibility of setting up a support group for people who had been diagnosed with MSA, Sarah had received her diagnosis in 1993. The rest, as they say is history and last year the Trust marked their 20th Anniversary.

On 13th June 2017 we opened Sarah’s Wood, one of our activities to mark 20 years of support and research by the Trust.

Hugh Matheson, our founder Sarah Matheson’s brother, wanted a way to symbolise the hope and support the MSA community can create for each other. To do this he has helped us create Sarah’s Wood. The Wood is located in Thoresby Estate, Nottinghamshire, in the heart of Sherwood Forest and will become a lasting symbol of hope for all people affected by MSA. The opening of the wood reflected this hope.

On 21st July 2018, we held a summer event at the invitation of our Trustee, Hugh Matheson, at Sarah’s Wood.

At this event we unveiled our brand new sign, which would hopefully help people find Sarah’s Wood and learn more about MSA. It was an afternoon of Tea and cake at Hugh Matheson’s residence and the future of the Wood was also discussed.

The Path to a Cure

In 2019 we decided to begin a project that reflects everyone who is on the path of battling MSA. As such, we will be building a path that leads directly to Sarah’s tree, this path will be built of engraved bricks carrying names of members of our MSA community. We hope the Path symbolises that we are all in it together, researching a cause and ultimately a cure for this devastating disease. As more and more join the cause: the longer, the more diverse and the more far reaching our path will become. Click on Path to a Cure to find out more.

Summer Social

Our Summer Social at Sarah’s Wood is a time for our community to get together socially to support the Trust and meet others affected by MSA. It is also an opportunity to see the ordered engraved bricks and Path to a Cure at Sarah’s Wood.

Our annual social event for the MSA community is fun for both adults and children! We will have children’s activities, Afternoon Tea and a lovely walk around Sarah’s Wood to see the Path to a Cure.

This will be a special opportunity to remember loved ones sadly lost to MSA and meet other families affected by it. Everyone gets together socially to support the Trust.

Date: tbc

We hope you will be able to join us this year.

Plant a Tree

We hold our regular tree planting sessions for those who wish to plant their own tree as a symbol of being part of the MSA community. You can either ask us to plant a tree on your behalf (see option below) or attend one of the tree planting days. Our next tree planting session will take place on Saturday the 30th of November 2024.

On the day you will meet with the Forester and able to plant a sapling within Sarah’s Wood. If you would like to come to one of the tree planting days please fill out the ‘I would like to attend a tree planting day’ form below.

If you are not able to attend a tree planting day but would like a tree planted in Sarah’s Wood on your behalf then please fill out the ‘I would like a tree planted on my behalf’ form below.

If you need more information about Sarah’s Wood, please contact the office on 0333 323 4591or email

I would like to attend a tree planting day

I would like a tree planted on my behalf

Path to a Cure


In 2019 we began a project enabling our members to be part of the special place for the MSA community – Sarah’s Wood. We will be building a path to the centre of this haven, constructed with bricks engraved with the names of those living with MSA or those sadly passed away; symbolising the steps we are taking to eventually defeat MSA – Path to a Cure. The Path will grow throughout the Wood as more of you get involved and make a permanent mark in the place of hope for the MSA community.

The address for Thoresby Park main car park is: Thoresby Park, Nr. Ollerton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG22 9EP (main car park)

Sarah’s wood address: Newark NG22 9EQ

Please note, while we accept orders for engraved bricks all year round, additions to the path can only be laid once a year. To have your brick included in our 2024 path laying, please order before Friday, 12th April.

Sarah’s Wood is open to the public year-round, and attendance at a Trust event is not necessary. However, it is crucial to check the Thoresby Estate website for current opening times. The wood is a brief 10 to 15-minute walk from the main car park

The Visitors Centre next to the main carpark features a courtyard with toilets, a café, and shops. Please note there are no toilets within the woods.

The wood is a brief 10 to 15-minute walk from the main car park. Visitors with mobility issues requiring vehicle access should contact a member of the fundraising team at so that we may arrange car access to the woods.

Note that Thoresby Estate, being a working farm/private estate, may have heavy machinery operating on the roads, so exercise caution.

Thoresby Park main carpark- directions

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A Path to a Cure

In 2019 we began a project enabling our members to be part of the special...