April 29, 2014

Trees planted in the Twin Oaks field in memory of Marion Harris

Around 15 years ago, with other members of the Green Team, Marion Harris and I began helping with land management tasks at Livability Holton Lee. More recently, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) were asking for information on ancient trees for inclusion in a national database.

Marion and I scoured the estate for trees of sufficient girth to identify them as being of great age. We looked at many hundreds of trees and soon became quite good at estimating their size, prior to measuring. Obsessive in fact – we were estimating tree girths wherever we went. More than eighty ancient trees were found, tagged and plotted on aerial images. We had hoped that others might then do the full surveys.

However, Marion became ill and decided this project was something she would like to see completed. With a couple of friends, each tree was revisited, photographed, the detailed reports written and passed to DWT before Marion died at the end of 2013.

The oldest trees at Livability Holton Lee are the “twin” oaks in the field at the southern end of the drive. It was proposed that, in Marion’s memory, two new oaks should be planted alongside these very ancient ones. Marion’s family and I are moved by this thoughtful tribute.

by Rob Chaldecott

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