Hearts of oak
The mighty oak tree has received a boost this winter as proceeds from sales of a new hardback book will fund research into its long-term preservation. With a foreword by Dame Judi Dench, Celebrating our Oaks features contributions from Joanna Lumley and Alan Titchmarsh, as well as all the winning entries from the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.
Celebrating Our Oaks is the brainchild of Action Oak, a unique collaboration between charities, the Government and landowners. Action Oak is also supported by The Prince of Wales, whose cross-sector meeting on plant health and biosecurity at highgrove last February was a catalyst for its formation.
The campaign met with Prince Charles in February last year and launched formally at the Chelsea Flower Show in May; priority areas identified for research include the genetics of oak trees, pests and disease, climate change and drought.
‘The oak is of the utmost ecological importance, supporting more than 2,000 other species,’ commented Geraint Richards, head forester at The Duchy of Cornwall. ‘Action Oak has been established to safeguard our oak trees for future generations.’
Celebrating our Oaks is available from The Woodland Trust (www. woodlandtrust.org.uk) or at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a touring exhibition of pictures from the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition will begin at Kew on February 9. Holly Kirkwood
Ancient SessileOak by John Glover, which came third in the International Garden Photographer of the Year contest