Stories from the Campaigner’s Postbag

Matina Loizou

Tall Oaks from Little Acorns Grow

Little Oak Plantation

Little Oak Plantation in Annesley is situated within the historic boundaries of Sherwood Forest and probably once formed part of it.

600 years ago the likes of Robin Hood and Little John might well have roamed over the same undisturbed ancient soil that continues to support the rich array of wildlife which calls it home today. However it wasn’t until very recently that Little Oak Plantation has been recognised as ancient woodland.

Perhaps unknown to the squirrels and toadstools the last decade cast a shadow over the future of Little Oak Plantation whilst the local community fought repeated efforts from developers to turn the wood into a drainage site for nearby housing.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Campaign group ACCESS, (Annesley Community Committed to Ensuring Sustainable Settlements) Little Oak Plantation has now been recognised as ancient. The Woodland Trust helped ACCESS to put together the case for Little Oak Plantation to be included in the Ancient Woodland Inventory.

Furthermore it has been designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) in the Ashfield Local Plan. This is a triumph for the local community which we hope will allow Little Oak Plantation to flourish for another 600 years and more.

The Woodland Trust became involved in the campaign to protect the wood after a chance meeting in 2012 between our very own Super Campaigner and Creative Poet, Dave Wood and the local lead in the ACCESS group, Bob Collier. The meeting took place while Dave was on his Creative Perambulations– a walk around the historic boundaries of Sherwood Forest.

Traditionally perambulations were held every three years by keepers of the forest to reassert the boundaries of a territory and check for damage to report to the King- the last to be held was in 1662. The Woodland Trust joined Dave on his Creative Perambulations- a journey which led us on to support the community of Annesley in their campaign to save Little Oak Plantation. It’s great to see that the combination of persistence and creative flair has secured the future of an unmapped ancient woodland.

The Woodland Trust is dedicated to protecting ancient woodland. With just 2% of the UK’s land area covered in ancient woodland, we can’t afford to lose anymore. If you suspect that your local wood may be ancient then you may find our factsheet on identifying unmapped ancient woodland of interest. You can find out more about how you and your local community can help the Woodland Trust to protect precious ancient woodland on our website.

Congratulations to Annesley and a big thank you to everyone for your work to save Little Oak Plantation! A special thank you to Dave Wood for sharing his celebratory poem then so we’ll walk. for little oak plantation.

then so we’ll walk. for little oak plantation

our faith’s outside – within the trees
where wind blows through – then so we’ll walk
we know it’s safe – the roots run free
the woodland trusts us in our talk

where wind blows through – then so we’ll walk
we lose ourselves in bluebells’ burst
whatever sprouts – we meet its thought
what sinc provides will slake the thirst

we know it’s safe – the roots run free
the shadow of the diggers done
green space path – our hearts at ease
so oaks now rest – so children run

the woodland trusts us in our talk
where wind blows through – then so we’ll walk

by Dave Wood

Matina Loizou, Campaigning Assistant


About matinaloizou

Government Affairs Officer at the Woodland Trust
This entry was posted in Campaigning, Woods Under Threat, WoodWatch and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Stories from the Campaigner’s Postbag

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  3. Kaye Brennan says:

    A note to add from ACCESS, who would like to add “with special thanks to Committee persons – Anne Chalkley, Robert Collier and Peter Olko. Peter Olko, Chair of ACCESS, states that we are pleased on how the local community pulled together on this, and should any other group require information regarding the vital steps we undertook please contact Kaye, who will be pleased to pass on your name.” –

  4. Julie Taylor says:

    Wonderful news! It is so good to hear something positive about ancient woodland.
    … and our fight must go on for Oaken Wood.

  5. Ash says:

    This is wonderful news & it has come from the ground up!

  6. Peter Kyte says:

    About time we had good news like this.

  7. Hilary Vivian says:

    That’s wonderful news! Now can we save Oaken Wood in Kent, and all its wonderful residents, from corporate greed and government ignorance?

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