Heritage trees


An ancient ash pollard in Watendlath, Cumbria © Paul Harris

An ancient ash pollard in Watendlath, Cumbria


We care for some of the country's most important trees. In fact it’s thought that we look after more than anyone else in the UK.

A bold claim, but considering we manage trees such as Newton’s Apple, which triggered the great scientist to create his laws on gravity, the Tolpuddle Martyrs tree, under which the first trade union was formed, and the original Irish Yew, which has produced every other Irish Yew in the world, you can see why we're so proud of the work that we do.

Visit some ancient trees on one of our specially created walks.

Huge collection

In addition to the historically notable trees, we own a vast number of ancient and veteran trees:

  • The 2,500-year-old Ankerwyke Yew near Runnymede is thought to be the oldest, but there are many others with significantly venerable ages.
  • Calke Abbey has two magnificent contorted and gnarly 1,000-year-old Oaks, both true living sculptures, as well as another which is a mere 800 years old.
  • At Hatfield Forest, which is the best-preserved medieval hunting forest in all of Europe, you can see hundreds of ancient pollards. These trees which have had their tops cut off at around 2.4 metres (8ft) on a regular cycle for fuel, tool handles or fodder and to prevent regrowth being eaten by deer or cattle.

Find out more about the trees

No matter where you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, there will be one of our gardens or estates near you with fantastic old trees. Why not head out and discover some true natural history at one of our ancient tree walls?