Community volunteers plant special oak in honour of the King

A King’s Coronation oak sapling selected from Windsor Great Park by the Crown Estate, has been planted by volunteers in Bury St Edmunds.

The sapling, one of four donated to Suffolk has been planted at Ten Acre Field, close to where an ancient oak tree thought to be between 300 to 350 years old stood until it collapsed in July 2000.

L-R Cllr Rowena Lindberg, who represents Moreton Hall on West Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council Cabinet member for Finance and Environment, Cllr Richard Rout, Cllr Birgitte Mager who represents Moreton Hall on West Suffolk Council, and Mike Hollins from Woodlands Way. The tree behind them is the ancient oak which collapsed in 2000.

Mike Hollins, treasurer of the Woodlands Way charity which has planted nearly 3,000 trees nearby at Natters Wood, a community woodland, had the honour of planting the Coronation Tree. West Suffolk Council, which manages Ten Acre Field and Suffolk County Council, which was donated the sapling by the Crown Estate, invited Mr Hollins to plant the Coronation sapling. He was joined by West Suffolk councillors Rowena Lindberg and Birgitte Mager who represent Moreton Hall, and Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment Cllr Richard Rout.  Although the coronation happened in May, tree planting season runs between November and March.

Mr Hollins said: “I was delighted and honoured to be invited to plant this special oak sapling selected and donated by the Crown. Trees are of course tremendously important to nature and our environment, supporting biodiversity and the air we breathe. The ancient oak that stood for hundreds of years at the entrance to Ten Acre Field was much loved. We hope that this oak sapling will flourish and be stood here for centuries more to come.”

Cllr Ian Shipp, Cabinet Member for Leisure at West Suffolk Council, said: “We know how much people value these green open spaces as a place both to walk and exercise and to relax and mentally recharge. Having green open spaces such as this is important to ensure our communities thrive and the Woodlands Way volunteers do tremendous work to support nature, the environment and provide a wonderful area for the community to enjoy.

“As a council we will have planted around 200 heavy standard trees this planting season and we are always looking to do more as part of our wider work supporting biodiversity and environmental resilience.

“This oak honours our King and we wish him well in his cancer battle. I look forward seeing this Coronation oak sapling as it grows and is appreciated and enjoyed for a great many years to come.”

The Natural and Historic Environment team at the County Council specifically selected the sapling from Windsor Great Park, with the help of John Anderson, Keeper of the Gardens at the Crown Estate.

Cllr Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet member for Finance and Environment said: “It has been a real privilege for the council to arrange for these four royal trees to be planted across the county – and a wonderful location for this particular oak in Bury St Edmunds. It really is a jewel in the crown of the hundreds of thousands of trees the council has helped to plant across Suffolk in the last few years as we aim to help protect and enhance Suffolk’s environment.”