Woodland Heritage of which The Prince of Wales is Patron, is leading on the vital work and research needed to protect 121 million native oak trees and safeguard their future through the Action Oak project. The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund (PWCF) has supported the project since 2018, with an award of £150,000.
Oak trees are part of our natural and built landscape; Woodland Heritage recognises the need to protect them. They form an important part of our nations heritage and infrastructure; King Charles II even hid in an oak tree to escape the Roundheads in 1651!
It is important to protect our oak trees; they are a valuable centre for biodiversity and home to many species. In addition, oak trees are important stores of carbon - 38 oak trees store enough to absorb the emissions of the average car.
The Action Oak project involves a range of activities, including:
- Working with owners and managers of oak trees and woodlands to help to protect the trees from a range of threats
- Funding research to improve our understanding of the threats to our oak trees and to inform best management practices
- Using established professional and citizen science networks to record changes in the distribution, age and health of our oak trees to identify priority areas for action
- Encouraging organisations to join the Action Oak partnership and people to support Action Oak
Currently, Action Oak is working to create a Living Laboratory. It has exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Show Chelsea and COP26. Action Oak have also created a permanent display at the Yorkshire Arboretum, another charity supported by PWCF.