Coronation oaks for communities

As one of our top-20 actions from our 2023/24 Environment Plan, we committed to giving away 75 English oak trees to communities, parish councils and schools in celebration of the coronation of King Charles III and his 75th birthday in November 2023!

We have now completed this project and gave out the 75 trees for planting in 20 locations across East Cambridgeshire, thanks to support from parish councils, schools, nurseries and landowners. 

Why oak trees?

Oak trees have always had a special place in the hearts of UK residents. They have a long and rich past, embedded in literature, folk-law, the arts, and especially the history of the Monarchy. There are many stories from history that feature a particular oak tree. The Royal Oak became legend when Charles II famously hid in one when escaping from the Roundheads. There is an oak tree at Hatfield House famously called Queen Elizabeth, as it was whilst sitting under this tree that she became queen. The Major Oak still stands in Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood and his Merry Men frequently camped beneath it.

Major Osk in Sherwood Forest

Oak trees are the most common of all woodland species in the UK and can live for up to 1,000 years. The UK has more ancient oaks than the whole of Europe combined. They have been used to get married under, bring luck, build ships and furniture, but the main reason for choosing oaks, and probably the most important reason today, is their vast capability of supporting hundreds of species of wildlife. A huge 2,300 species are supported by the oak tree, with over 200 of these relying on the oak tree completely to ensure their survival. From a sapling to long after its death, the oak tree is home, shelter and nourishment for so many other species. They really are an asset to any community hoping to enhance, enrich and support the nature around them.

What we provided

As part of this giveaway, we provided:

  • Up to six standard oaks (1.5 to 2 meters tall) per applicant
  • Two stakes and ties per tree
  • School applications also received a selection of fiction and non-fiction tree related books

All trees were collected by the applicants in late February and early March 2024.


Trees were collected by local councils in Soham, Mepal, Dullingham, Swaffham Bulbeck, Ely, Wicken, Reach, Stretham, Coveney and Burwell.

Schools in Isleham, Soham and Littleport also planting some of the trees, whilst Beach Babies Nursery is adding a few trees to its garden area. Other community-based beneficiaries to collect the free trees include Kennet Community Land Trust, Haddenham Conservation Trust, Prospects Trust and Cloud Ursa. 

Further help 

To find out more about oak trees and their care, please visit the Woodland Trust (external link)

For full details of the scheme, please see the terms and conditions (PDF).