Hearts of oak

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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

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