It is understood that the Ancient Oak featured in the September 2016 issue of the Contact Magazine is rotting from the inside and would be a hazard should it fall onto Fleet Road.

The tree has suffered from the proximity of the adjacent Red Oak, a rapidly growing tree native to North America which needs ample space to grow. The Ancient Oak provides a habitat for wild life such as jackdaws, bats, insects, fungi etc and could continue to be useful in that role. Hart District Council Countryside Rangers are awaiting the results of an ecological survey on the ancient oak. A possible solution would be to move the tree to Hunts Common and placing it upright strapped to three live and sturdy trees with strong webbing. An alternative would be to rest the tree on the ground near to where it currently stands providing a natural habitat for wild life and insects.

Your opinions on the proposal to move it to Hunts Common would be welcome.

Update - 14 March 2017

The tree has enough rot in the base and roots that there was a risk of it falling into Fleet Road. However by reducing it we have removed the weight from the top that would have caused it to fall in this direction. The Tree Officer is happy that in it's current state it is more evenly weighted and so the risk of it falling into the road has been reduced enough to allow us to retain the tree for it's heritage and wildlife value. We also reduced the tree to it's current height so that we could maintain the majority of the valuable habitat, specifically the large active Jackdaw nest.