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A rare beast in Surrey

Author: David Archer

A rare beast indeed and on two counts. Firstly this veteran English Oak is part of the largest remnant of veteran trees left in Europe. With the possible exception of Greece, Britain has the highest population of ancient trees in Europe. They are important for the genetic diversity they provide; the habitat they give to many rare and endangered invertebrates/fungi and for the historical and cultural links they have with our past.

Secondly, in that it has been given more than adequate protection in this recent development. More than most other trees, veteran trees need plenty of space to maintain their rooting system. When a tree reaches this sort of age then they are not able to cope with any sudden changes in their rooting environment. Modern development economics means that large open spaces on potential building sites are expensive which is why it is such a pleasure to see this tree being given the space it deserves. 

The road has been deliberately routed around the rooting zone thus providing it with all the space it requires to maintain itself for many years into the future where it may be enjoyed by our children’s children. Well done to the developer and the LPA for ensuring this happened; their children will thank them.