From acorn to oak – celebrate National Tree Week
Surrounding the Science Oxford Centre at Stansfeld Park, we have 15 acres of beautiful woodland, making it the largest within the ring road. National Tree Week (23rdNovember – 1stDecember) signals a full-on week of planting at Stansfeld, a vital part of our woodland rejuvenation project.
National Tree Week comes during the ideal tree planting season – a period when trees are most suited to being dug up, moved around and transplanted. With help from local schools and the community, we’ve been busy planting tiny saplings, donated by the Woodland Trust, across our site. So far, we’ve planted more than 100 that will hopefully develop into a wonderful native hedge of hawthorn, hazel, rowan, blackthorn, dogwood and rose outside the Science Oxford Centre. We have a further 200 saplings that our Outdoor Learning and Ecology Manager, Roger Baker, is planting this week.
Exactly a year ago, we found ourselves battered by heavy rain and up to our knees in mud as our team planted a range of bigger trees around the edges of the main pond and woods, to celebrate the development of Stansfeld Park. Even though they were hard to dig in at the time, the trees are now well established and enhance the landscape enormously.
Started in 1975, National Tree Week is an annual celebration of trees in the UK. There are lots of reasons why we should celebrate and protect our trees and their place in our countryside: they give us oxygen, store carbon, improve air quality, conserve water, preserve soil, support wildlife and are a key solution to climate change. According to the City Council, we have over 248,000 trees in the city and 73 species. Most common are ash, willow and poplar. The aim is to create an “urban forest” in Oxford. We hope that our new saplings at Stansfeld Park will make a big contribution.
To celebrate National Tree Week, we were also given a young oak tree by our Quarry Road neighbours Andy Dexter and Tina Mawson. Back in 2000, Tina was living on the nearby Green Edges estate and spotted an acorn that was sprouting in her front garden. The acorn had fallen from a giant oak tree outside her house. She potted it up and the sapling moved with her to Quarry Road ten years ago. Tina soon realised that it would outgrow their small garden and so has kindly donated it to Stansfeld Park. As the old English saying goes ‘from tiny acorns mighty oaks grow’– we hope this is true at Stansfeld Park. Thank you, Andy and Tina.