Community helps to save ancient pollards in Deddington

A local community group has joined forces with the Woodland Trust to ensure the future of several ancient willow trees in Daeda’s Wood near Deddington. The wood, which is owned by the conservation charity is looked after on a day-to-day basis by the Friends of Daeda’s Wood.

To ensure that the wood continues to grow and prosper, the Woodland Trust, the friends of Daeda’s Wood and the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) have come together, with the help of a grant from Grundon Waste Management and the Oxfordshire Rural Housing Partnership to pollard willows growing along the River Swere.

Daeda’s Wood was one of the first woods planted close to people, as part of the charity’s “Woods on your Doorstep” project, which saw over 200 community woods planted as part of millennium celebrations. 12 years on the “sticks in a field” have developed into a diverse and well used wooded area serving the community and wildlife of Deddington.

Elspeth Cox, from the Friends group said: “Without this financial help we would lose the old ancient willows, but now we can employ a contractor to cut them as this work is too dangerous for us to do alone. We do manage to cut the smaller paths and keep these clear.

Willow pollarding is the removal of the large branches that grow out of the top of a short trunk, which are cut about every 15 -20 years that prolongs the tree’s life for many years. It is a traditional management method which stops the trees from collapsing, providing really important habitats for birds and beetles in the rotting wood of the ancient trunks.”

“The Woodland Trust is working closely with the community to ensure that Daeda’s Wood will be a really special place of interest and tranquillity and we really welcome the support of TOE2,” said John Brown Regional Development Officer , “We cannot underestimate the importance that organisations like TOE bring to communities in Oxfordshire. Without the access to the Landfill Communities Funding from them and the good will of Grundon Waste Management and the Oxfordshire Rural Housing Partnership by supporting this project it would not have happened.”

To find out more information about Daeda’s Wood visit: woodlandtrust.org.uk/wood/daedas-wood

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