Iconic Grantham oak to be saved for generations
One of the town’s most iconic trees, an oak more than 400 years old, is to get some special treatment to preserve it for many more generations to come.
The mighty Grantham oak on Belton Lane is having a protection zone put up around it after concerns were raised about vehicles parking too close and damaging the roots, as well as churning up the grass and turning it into an eyesore of mud.
Experts carried out a radar survey this week to get a picture of how the tree’s roots have spread.
Last year, a utility company parked vans and stored equipment against the tree. Residents called the Woodland Trust, whose headquarters are based in Grantham, to complain about it. The charity got in touch with South Kesteven District Council which sent a tree officer to the site and ordered the company to remove its equipment.
Joseph Coles, who leads the Trust’s Street Trees project, said: “More than 400 years old, the Grantham oak has been a well-loved landmark in the town for generations.
“Just a sapling when England’s Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower, this splendid ancient oak would have once stood in open countryside, witnessing centuries of the area’s history and the increasing size of the town. The Grantham oak could quite easily live for another 400 years with a little help, but in an urban environment, its future is becoming a concern.
“This amazing tree is not only important for wildlife and a valued public amenity, it’s also helping to improve air quality at the side of a busy road. It’s recorded on the ancient tree inventory as needing special recognition, and that’s what we aim to give it, especially as Grantham is also the home of the Woodland Trust.
“Most tree roots grow within the first few feet of soil, so the weight of a car can easily crush them. Preventing damage to the most important structural and feeding roots will ensure the Grantham Oak remains a tree the town can continue to be proud of.”
SKDC cabinet member for environment, Coun Dr Peter Moseley, said: “No one can fail to be impressed by the majesty of this old oak tree and we are pleased to be able to work with the Woodland Trust to help protect its future.
“It has suffered over the years with the gradual pressure on its root system but by doing this work now we know we can make a
real difference for the enjoyment of future generations.”