Lowestoft gets the most Easterly Charter Oak.
One of the earliest acts of Lowestoft Town Council was to sign up to the Charter for Trees, Woods and People. It seemed highly appropriate to mark the beginning of the new council with committing to one of our most important resources, especially as they both took place in the same year.
The Charter was initiated by the Woodland Trust in response to the crisis facing trees and woods in the UK. On 6 November 2017, on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest, the new Charter for Trees, Woods and People was launched at Lincoln Castle – home to one of the two remaining copies of the 1217 Charter of the Forest.
In 1217 the Charter of the Forest was signed by Henry III to protect the rights of free men in England to access and use the Royal Forests which has been set aside as the King’s hunting grounds. Prior to this, anyone entering Royal Forests to access sustainable benefits, such as firewood, could be punished severely for stealing. 800 years on the role of trees and woods in the lives of people living in the UK has changed, but trees and woods are in need of protection more now than ever.
As part of the Charter Tree initiative 800 Charter Trees will be planted across the UK to commemorate the 800 years that have passed since the Charter of the Forest. The town council applied to have one of these trees for Lowestoft but have been lucky enough to get two, a Sessile Oak and a Scot’s Pine. They are both very young native trees which will hopefully grow and become recognisable features of our landscape and a source of pride for Lowestoft.
The Sessile Oak was planted by the Mayor, Cllr Ian Graham, in Sparrow’s Nest at 1pm on the 5th of February. Local Councillors from both the Town and District Council were present as well as student and staff representatives from the Denes High School, representatives from the Lowestoft Maritime Museum, Royal Naval Patrol Service and Museum, the War Memorial Museum, the Lowestoft Movie Makers Club (who filmed the event), Waveney Norse and several members of the public as well as local media. The Scot’s Pine will be planted later in the year when the work on the East of England Park allows.
The town council is committed to caring for the trees and open spaces it looks after for the town. It has already drafted a tree policy and is starting to set up Friends groups for our parks, open spaces and play areas to give a wider voice to the local community. The council also wants to work with local community groups and schools to catalogue all our trees as well as annually inspect and measure them so that future generations know their history and can enjoy them as well.
Contact details for the Council:
Tel: 0330 053 6019