Great trees from little acorns grow.  In this case a whole wood.  Three years ago some of the grandchildren planted acorns in pots, which have grown into sizeable saplings.  Thinking about where to put them, and the number of children who might like to be involved, I decided to plant a small wood.

To this end we have cleared the self-set sycamores from a flat piece of land between two old stone quarries on the wooded hill opposite the Hall.  Mostly firewood, one sycamore is big enough to plank for furniture or breadboards.  This area has some splendid tall straight oak trees over a hundred years old, so we know the site is suitable.

The name – OAKS SIXTEEN – related to the wood being planted in 2016 by, or on behalf of, our sixteen grandchildren  Over Christmas we hope to see them all here at one time or another, and the Dubai contingent are with us for a fortnight.  The oaks will have tree shelters around them, and we will plant Norway spruce, Christmas trees – as a nurse crop.

The footpath to Melbourne, the Staunton Ridgeway, runs by this cleared area and I have put up a notice to tell walkers what we are doing.  It is fastened to a Norway Spruce I planted forty years ago which has escaped becoming someone’s Christmas tree.