Veteran trees in the Lakes

A veteran tree

Veteran trees are on the way to becoming the next generation of ancient trees, and may also be important both culturally and aesthetically. They're often associated with landscapes like Glencoyne Park near Ullswater which has wood pastures, with over 250 veterans within its 200h. Gemma Wren tells us more about veteran trees and why they're so important.

I'm Gemma Wren - Countryside Manager for the National Trust in South East Cumbria and Morecambe Bay.

One of my favourite veteran oak trees can be found at the lakeshore of Fell Foot, on the south east shore of Windermere.

Gemma Wren and her dog Luna

The tree has stood there for 200-250 years and is an example of a great indicator of land management, planted, and pollarded, to help stabilise the bank.

It would have been a feature tree surrounded by a 19th century beech wood. A reminder that Fell Foot was once the parkland to a villa style property which, as it rose in status included a boathouse complex built next to the oak. Its waterside location means it copes with the movement of water and boats around its roots, including masts in its canopy, and is home to some amazing wildlife.

The tree provides a biodiversity refuge amongst the bustle of people getting on and off the water. Veteran trees are so precious because as the tree grows it forms niches which wildlife depends on. The parkland is also home to other mature trees and  the current planting scheme allows the continuation of this veteran tree habitat for many hundreds of years to come.

Scotts pines overlooking wildflowers in meadows & the River Kent's estuarial zone at Arnside Knott, Cumbria

Veteran tree spotting in Arnside and Silverdale  

The National Trust Silverdale team tell us what they love about trees and where to spot some special ones in Arnside and Silverdale.

The Grand Fir of Skelghyl