All change at Broadwood's Folly Box Hill

Sun setting over a view of Broadwood's Tower at Box Hill, Surrey

We've had to make the difficult decision to remove the tree growing through the tower known as Broadwood's Folly at Box Hill.

The National Trust has made the difficult decision to remove the tree growing through the tower on Box Hill, otherwise known as Broadwood’s Folly.
 
We have long known the tree was having a detrimental effect on the tower, but on balance thought the tree within the tower offered our visitors a unique experience. 
 
The none native holm oak (species introduced to the UK from the Mediterranean in the 1500’s), acorn was probably dropped into the tower by a bird, possibly a jay or wood pigeon. Unfortunately the tree is showing signs of distress with almost half of the crown looking dead. To prevent further damage to the tower the tree it is now being removed.
 
Andrew Wright, National Trust Countryside Manager said “For the past decade or so we have allowed the tree to remain inside the tower as it so unusual and romantic, a place of discovery and wonder. We’ve known that it wasn’t doing the tower any good but on balance thought the positives outweighed the negatives. Now the tree is dying, it seems sensible to conserve the tower by removing it before it does further damage. It’s a shame to lose it, but the right thing to do.”
 
As the tower is a listed building, the National Trust have been liaising with the local authority and agreed a safe method for the tree’s removal. 
 
The National Trust is now considering the future of the tower. Following immediate remedial conservation work to the structure, options being considered include greater public access, perhaps even re-building the staircase to allow views from the top.