the old oak at Crewkerne. © Ben Hartshorn
the old oak at Crewkerne. © Ben Hartshorn

People power saves oak tree

July 2009

The venerable old Lucombe oak (Quercus x hispanica, a cross between the Cork Oak, Quercus suber, and the Turkey Oak, Quercus cerris; cultivated in 1762 by William Lucombe) in Henhayes Crewkerne, Somerset, was found to have a fungus infection (or perhaps just be in the way of a new sports center development?), deemed a hazard and due to be felled by the local council. The council’s insurers appeared to be bullying the councilors into taking drastic action and threatening to sue any individual who stood in the way.

But the citizens of Crewkerne did not obey and began the Save the Oak! Save Henhayes! campaign and flew in arboreal experts from Germany with more precise scientific equipment – which proved that the tree had a future! The campaigners collected over 2,000 names supporting a petition and the council agreed to preservation rather than destruction, at least for the following three years.

The campaign showed, so their spokesman, Green politician B. Hartshorn, said, that ‘we need to value and protect our green spaces and the species that inhabit them. … We have a magnificent oak tree to enjoy.’

Update July 2015: The tree still stands.

sources: BBC News

Share this post

Other articles

The historical photo of the "Blue Marble" Earth, taken from Apollo 17 on December 7, 1972

An introduction to Gaia

Gaia is the entirety of the material Earth and all living organisms on it = the ecosphere. A self-regulating system that has evolved over 3.8 billion years.

Boy standing enchanted among trees in the evening sun. © Jerome Berquez/Fotolia

Trees for Life – (2) The inside

Trees play a huge role in the personal and collective psyche of all humans, not just for obvious practical reasons (food, shelter, air quality) but also for being sacred gates to other realms of consciousness and experience.

Heavy evaporation over dense forest. © aslysun/

Trees for Life – (1) The outside

Forests are essential organs in the metabolism of planet Earth, maintaining the balance of the ecosphere, global climate, and regional weather patterns.