Royal oak helps seed new woodland for the Dane Valley

This is an archived press release

Thursday 7 March 2013


Geoff Nickolds (right) and Dominic Sweeting with the royal oak sapling in the Dane ValleyA Jubilee Oak, grown from an acorn from a royal estate, was planted in the Dane Valley to help seed new life for some of the UK’s most ancient woodlands.

The royal oak sapling, donated by the Woodland Trust, was officially planted at the Fall, near Danebridge, by Geoff Nickolds, deputy chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, and Dominic Sweeting, of the Woodland Trust.

The Fall, which is owned by the Authority, is being planted with native broadleaved trees to tie in with the wider 70-hectare Dane Valley Woodlands Project; this aims to link and enhance woodlands belonging to some 20 different landowners on the Cheshire/Staffordshire border.

Geoff Nickolds said: “Parts of the Dane Valley woodlands date back to the 17th century and this Jubilee Oak, grown in the Queen’s diamond jubilee year, is a fitting symbol of the work we are doing to continue an ancient heritage.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Woodland Trust for supporting the project which will be of considerable significance to the wildlife and landscape of the area. We’re hoping that woodland birds such as pied flycatcher and redstart that are threatened nationally, but have a stronghold in the Peak District, will find a home here.”

The Woodland Trust grew the royal oak saplings to encourage a nationwide woodland creation programme to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee last year. Each sapling is accompanied by a certificate, and is included in an online record of celebration trees.

The wider Dane Valley Woodlands Project is managed by the Peak District National Park Authority and supported by the Forestry Commission, SITA Trust, and Heritage Lottery Fund. The project involves local communities and includes tree-planting, deer fencing and footpath improvements.

Volunteers from the University of Derby planted 1,200 oak, birch, alder, hazel and rowan saplings on a privately-owned site at Gig Hall last month, and there is scope for local people to plant orchard trees if they wish.

For more information, contact Dane Valley Woodlands Project manager Rebekah Newman on or 01629 816397.

This is an archived press release

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