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We've Donated Descendants of our Ancient Oaks to Volunteer Tree Stewards

We donated a mix of young oak, cherry and beech saplings grown on our Estate to the Combe Parish Tree Stewards scheme.

Nick Baimbridge, our Head Forester, and his team grew the trees from seeds collected in the Blenheim woods – including High Park, which has the largest collection of ancient oaks in the UK.

As well as ten trees that range from one to three years old, our Rural Team also provided mulch, stakes and guards to protect them. A group of volunteers, exercising careful social distancing, planted the trees on Saturday, 21st March to coincide with the International Day of Forests.

“Working with our local community is one of the key supporting pillars of our Land Strategy,” said our Head of Rural, Rachel Furness-Smith.

“Both myself and Nick were delighted to be able to provide trees for this fantastic local project and we’re looking forward to being able to do more work with the Tree Stewards when circumstances allow.

“In these difficult times it’s wonderful to see communities coming together for the common good and for future generations to appreciate and enjoy,” she added.

The Combe Parish Tree Stewards voluntary scheme was set up to provide maintenance and complete other jobs, which would enhance biodiversity, visual amenity and carbon capture.

Its first project was to sort out the maintenance of 14 trees on the Oxfordshire Way just west of Akeman Street; replacing dead trees, providing protection from deer and rabbits and controlling plant growth around the base of the trees.

Landscape architect Jonathan Ford, whose day job includes overseeing the planting of more than 400,000 trees and shrubs along the M40, is running the tree stewarding scheme. 

“It has been a pleasure working with so many members of the Blenheim Rural Estate Team on this project,” said Jonathan.

“They have been consistently helpful and supportive. I hope we can work together on future projects.

“These projects aren’t just about work. They are also about getting out into our wonderful countryside, getting exercise and meeting neighbours,” he added.