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Walmer Castle receives oak trees from parish council after hearing of national shortage during Notre Dame appeal


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An investment in history, tourism and nature has been dug into the grounds at Walmer Castle thanks to the parish council.

Two oak trees have started their 200 year journey to maturity in their new home, at the start of the splendid oak tree parade which begins at the currently unused Liverpool Road entrance.

Philip Oostenbrink positions one of the new oaks as Brian Addison, Gardens Project Supervisor, and Andrew Crookes, trainee, prepare to plant the tree
Philip Oostenbrink positions one of the new oaks as Brian Addison, Gardens Project Supervisor, and Andrew Crookes, trainee, prepare to plant the tree

It is hoped they will not only benefit local people and visitors to the Tudor castle, but also some 300 lichens and over 400 insect species - not to mention the birds and small mammals they provide a valuable food source to.

The project began when the councillor responsible for the parish council’s tree planting project Cllr Marguerite Beard-Gould, heard about an appeal from the French Government for large mature English Oak beams to replace the timbers lost during the fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral in April 2019.

She explained: “When the call went out to all European countries including the UK a survey revealed that here in England - the home of this splendid tree - the number of mature Oaks was in fact very low.

“We decided to help address that by planting two English Oaks but we wanted them to be in an appropriate place so we asked if Walmer Castle might have space and we were lucky they did as they are in the process of restoring the original drive to the Castle from Liverpool road and they had recently lost two trees from the start of that avenue.

“Now they are safely planted and in time will add to the beautiful landscape of Walmer and its historic castle.”

Cllr Marguerite Beard-Gould and head gardener Philip Oostenbrink stand at the beginning of the old entrance to Walmer Castle
Cllr Marguerite Beard-Gould and head gardener Philip Oostenbrink stand at the beginning of the old entrance to Walmer Castle

They were planted a week after the first 200 year old oaks were felled to begin the reconstruction of Notre Dame’s spire.

Walmer Castle’s head gardener Philip Oostenbrink, told parish magazine Rural Roundup: “We are delighted to receive this gift from the Parish Council on behalf of the people of Walmer who can rest assured that they will be tended with love and will in time mark the entrance to the restored Castle Drive.”

The species planted is Quercus Robur.

The council's tree planting project has so far seen more then over 40 trees planted with the aims of counteracting vehicle pollution and making streets in the parish more beautiful.

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