New surface will protect iconic Grantham oak
One of the town’s most iconic trees will be protected for generations to come after further measures were carried out this week.
A protective surface has been installed underneath the grand oak tree which has stood on Belton Lane, Grantham, for 400 years after concerns were raised about vehicles parking too close and damaging the roots.
The new surface, which covers the wider area of the surrounding canopy, will allow vehicles to safely drive around the tree without causing damage to the roots underneath. Posts and rope have also been installed under the canopy to provide a protection zone.
South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) is working in partnership with the Woodland Trust’s ‘Street Trees’ project, which is funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to keep an eye on the historic tree.
A root radar survey was carried out in December which indicated where the main roots were located and were avoided by the post installation.
SKDC area housing officer Robin Atter said: “SKDC have been working jointly with the Woodland Trust to protect the Grantham Oak for generations to come. It was important to allow residents access to their properties and drives whilst protecting the oak tree from root system damage. By creating the exclusion zone and installing the grass protection system the Grantham Oak has been given the protection it deserves to remain an historic and iconic feature of the Grantham landscape.
“The final parts of the project will include mulching the area inside of the post and rope exclusion zone, and installing an interpretation information board about the history of the Grantham Oak, sowing grass seed and sweeping in top soil to encourage fresh grass growth within the areas of the grass protection system. This work will take place over the coming weeks.”
Street Trees project lead Joe Coles hopes the project will inspire similar intervention measures to be carried out on other trees across the UK.
He added: “This tree ticks so many boxes for the Woodland Trust – it’s ancient, it’s native, it’s loved by the public and the local authority and what’s more, it’s an urban street tree in the home of the Woodland Trust.
“We’re thrilled to be able to do something to ensure it lives a happy and healthy life. I’m sure there are plenty of trees elsewhere in the UK that would also benefit from this kind of intervention.”
The project’s next phase will be to install an interpretation panel near the tree to provide the public with information regarding the history of the tree and the local area.
To help with research for the information panel Journal readers are invited to email any historic information they may have about the tree and its surroundings to Street Trees Project administrator Denise Tegerdine at firstname.lastname@example.org.