Bird box bonanza in Bury Knowle Park!

Pupils from St Andrew’s School made 24 bird boxes for Bury Knowle Park at a weekend workshop on Saturday 4 February under guidance from the Friends of Bury Knowle Park and the RSPB. The boxes were funded by Headington Action.

It was an exciting day today for the children as the City Council’s Tree Officer put the boxes up in trees in Bury Knowle Park as part of the British Trust for Ornithology’s National Nestbox week

Ever thought of adopting a tree?

Why adopt a tree?

Trees actively improve and enhance our lives and now you have the opportunity to help the Council look after a tree.

Your adopted tree can:

  • help tackle climate change and reduce CO2 levels
  • improve the quality of your local community
  • absorb air pollutants
  • attract birds and wildlife to the area
  • help reduce flooding
  • be purchased as a gift or in remembrance
  • become a project for whole family or group

For more information, click here

Tree line in the London Road

Turkish hazel tree


The tree felling that has taken place at the Dorset House site was principally the removal of the diseased and decaying horse chestnut trees along the London Road frontage; this work was approved by the Council as part of the landscape proposals. These details include replacement of these trees with specimen Turkish hazels (this is a quite large tree species, not like our native small tree). The three chestnuts were showing increasing signs of ill health and weakness over the past few years and a large limb fell from one of them into the road in the summer; and although remedial tree surgery work was carried out at that time, we’re glad they were taken down before this recent period of high winds.  Development of the site has provided a timely opportunity to secure another element of new tree planting for the next generation of tree cover along this important arterial route into the city (to go along with other recent landscape improvements, i.e. replacement of the root-diseased beech trees that have been disappearing over many years now from the front of the Headington Prep school, with hornbeams; and entirely new plantings of lime trees along the frontage of the main Headington school site, which will hopefully produce an attractive avenue).

How can I adopt a tree?

This is a question that David and I have been asked many times in the past. At last a new scheme has been introduced that will enable you to do this! Here is advice on the scheme from the City Council.

As part of National Tree Week, Oxford City Council is offering residents, businesses, schools and community groups the opportunity to adopt a tree. Other trees have been planted in our parks in remembrance of loved ones.
There are three options available, from watering and looking after an existing tree outside your property to purchasing and watering new trees in one of our parks.
National Tree Week is held from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 March and is organised by The Tree Council. They were founded in 1974 and launched National Tree Week in 1975.

There are three options available in the adopt a tree project, from watering and looking after an existing tree outside your property to purchasing and watering new trees in one of our parks.
Our parks service will discuss potential locations and species of tree, purchase your tree – average height 6-10ft, plant and stake your tree and provide you with some basic information on how to look after your tree
Once planted we would like you to help look after the tree by, maintaining and caring for the tree, watering and weeding, report any damage or unsafe trees.
Information and application forms are available from Oxford City Council’s Parks Service on 01865 252240, email or visit the website 

Contact details re the public forest consultation

David and I have had enquiries from residents about how to lodge comments in the public consultation on the ownership and management of land managed by the Forestry Commission.

This public consultation will run for 12 weeks until 21st April 2011.

You can see and fill in the consultation document on the Forestry Commission website  or on the website run by DEFRA

Or telephone 0845 3673787 to request a hard copy which you can complete and return to the address below.

Recycle your old Christmas tree

 Have a green Christmas this year and recycle your Christmas tree at one of 17 recycling points across the city after the festive season.
Old Christmas trees will be turned into wood chips and used in the city’s parks and open spaces.
Christmas Tree collection points are open from Tuesday 4 January to Sunday 16 January.
The collection points are:
Alexandra Tennis Courts, Middle Way, Summertown
Atkyns Road,Wood Farm
Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre car park
Blackbird Leys Park car park
Bury Knowle Park, North Place car park
Cutteslowe Park, Harbord Road car park
Elizabeth Green, Northway
Florence Park, Cowley
Green Road, Risinghurst
Hinksey Park, Abingdon Road
Long Lane, Littlemore
Manzil Way Gardens, Cowley Road
Margaret Road Recreation Ground
Meadow Lane Recreation Ground, Jackdaw Lane
Oatlands Recreation Ground, Ferry Hinksey Road (car park)
South Park, Morrell Avenue
Sunnymead Recreation Ground, by play area

Trees and the London Road building work

Residents have asked us where the trees have got to in the new London Road redevelopment work. New trees will be planted in the planting season so this will be near the end of the scheme.  The actual trees are currently being selected from nurseries.

In at least one place, workers have prepared the hole and root barrier and then filled it in with a temporary filler and paved over it.  The hole will be opened up to put the tree in later.  We are told this is easier for the paving teams.  Don’t worry, the trees won’t be overlooked!

Tree officer wants your views


David and I respond to a large number of enquiries about trees, and appreciate that residents are very concerned and upset when a well-loved tree is felled because it is diseased.

As you may recall, I asked at NE Area Committee if we can have tree matters discussed on a forthcoming agenda. This is to let you know that one of the Council’s Tree Officers will attend the NEAC meeting in December to respond to any questions about tree-related planning issues which have arisen in our local area.

The officer would like to know what information we would like him to bring along to the meeting. If you have a planning-related concern about trees that you would like to raise, please can you let David or me know by 30 November so that we can alert him in advance?

Applications for felling trees in conservation areas

 Those of us who get planning alerts will receive notification of trees to be felled or pruned in conservation areas, and these applications have the suffix CAT.  Here is an example below:

OX3 0BT OX3 0BT (09/01799/CAT)

Fell Cherry, Silver Birch, Willow and x3 Sycamore trees; prune Oak and Sycamore trees (as specified)

I have queried the procedure for these with the Tree Officers. 

During the 6 week notice period they have to consider the impact on the conservation area and, bearing in mind the reasons, if any, given for the proposed work, decide whether to make a TPO.  Interested third parties can make comments if they wish which officers will also take account of if they are made within the notice period.

In this case the Tree Officer had a pre-notice meeting with Brookes’ arboricultural
consultant to discuss the proposed works.  It is not expected that a TPO will be made because the works are reasonable landscape management and will not have an adverse impact on the appearance or character of the Headington Hill conservation area.

If residents want to make comments on these CAT applications, they can do so, but it should be in writing and on the specific merits of the proposed works. General anti-tree felling comments are not helpful because comments need to be specific to the location . Tree Officers will make TPOs to protect trees which are important to the appearance asd character of the conservation area unless works are justified by need.

NB  Applications for consent to do work to TPO trees have a TPO suffix.