Oaks and Oaklands

Jennifer Ayto

Just an oak tree?  There is one at Oaklands College which is part of history.

To celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games, a ribbon of 40 oak trees was planted from Shropshire to the Olympic Park.  One of the sites chosen to be part of the event was the Smallford Campus of Oaklands College.

The Coubertin oak at Oaklands College in 2023


The tree was planted on 30 April 2012 in a new woodland area, designated to to replace the old arboretum.  The Principal of the College reflected on the honour and that the College would be a part of Great British sporting history.

Planting the Coubertin oak at Oaklands in 2012









Much Wenlock in Shropshire was the site of Dr William Penny Brookes annual Wenlock Olympic Games.  All the trees were grown from acorns taken from an oak tree there planted to celebrate the visit in October 1896 of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern  Olympic movement.

But – is this the only tree on the campus with a history?

What about other oak trees on the site?

The Red Cross Agricultural Fund was set up to raise money and encourage more home grown food supplies during World War II.  To mark the achievement of raising £5 million, five red oak trees were planted by the Royal family in Windsor Great Park.  A further four oaks were planted in 1945 to form a cross.  A plaque, approved by the King, George VI, was placed there:

                       Through God’s great grace, through the strength of English Oak

                        We have preserved our faith, our Throne, our Land;

                        Now, with our freedom saved from tyrant’s yoke,

                        We plant these trees.  Remember why they stand!

Similar plantings were made in other parts of the country.  Rumour has it that there is such a memorial at Oaklands College.  Does anyone know if this is true?

This page was added on 29/11/2023.

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