75 Coronation Oaks for Communities

Seventy-five English Oak trees are being given away by East Cambridgeshire District Council to help celebrate King Charles III’s coronation and his 75th birthday this November.

The council is giving away the trees to schools, nurseries, community groups and parish councils as one of its top 20 actions from its 2023/24 Environment Plan.

From a sapling and even long after its death, the oak tree is home, shelter and nourishment for around 2300 species, helping to increase biodiversity. Of these, over 200 rely on oak trees completely to ensure their survival.

Cllr Julia Huffer beneath an oak tree

Cllr Julia Huffer, Environmental Champion for East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It is truly wonderful to think that by planting 75 oak trees, we will be supporting the future of so many birds, insects, mammals, plants and fungi.

“The environmental contribution oak trees make is enormous. According to Barcham Tree’s Top Trunks Guide (external link) each of the English oaks (Quercus robur) we’ll be giving away can store 7500 kilograms of carbon when it reaches maturity.

“Majestic oaks tree also play a pivotal role in our history and our culture and have long been associated with the monarchy. The Royal Oak became legend when King Charles II famously hid in one when escaping from the Roundheads. Queen Elizabeth I was also famously sitting beneath one when she became queen.

“So, it seems a fitting tribute to our new monarch, King Charles III, who is passionate about the environment, to give away these 75 trees to mark his coronation year and 75th birthday.

“Unfortunately, climate change means our native oaks are under pressure to drought, flooding, pollution, pests and diseases, so it's vitally important we act now and get as many of these trees planted as possible.”

The 75 oak trees supplied by the council this year are in addition to the 100s of trees planted every year on council-owned land.

Schools, nurseries, community groups and parish councils can claim up to six free trees from the council. They must have the landowner’s permission, and land should be publicly accessible 24 hours a day (schools and nurseries excluded). If not, please explain who will have access. Schools that apply will also receive a free nature book pack.

For more information visit the Coronation oaks for communities page on our website.

Fact file:

  • The agricultural nature of our district means East Cambridgeshire is in the bottom 10 districts across the country, with only 5.2% tree cover.
  • Oak trees are the most common of all woodland species in the UK and can live for up to 1000 years.
  • The UK has more ancient oaks than the whole of Europe combined.
  • The Major Oak still stands in Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood and his Merry men camped frequently beneath it
  • Ely Cathedral Octagon, one of the seven wonders of the Medieval world, is made from oak.