Buttington Oak PHOTOS on Flickr                Buttington Oak on ATH                     Buttington Oak Press Release

LARGEST GIRTH OAK TREE ON OFFAS DYKE FALLS. Whilst on a whirlwind tree hunting visit to Wales & the Shropshire borders with my good friend Marc Meyer from Belgium we were met by this terrible sight! The Buttington Oak, half of it lying prone on the floor. The 11.03 metre giant of an oak we think, had succomed to strong easterly winds earlier in the year, around May time we think the landowner had informed us. It was such a shock to see yet another ancient tree of perhaps 800-900 years old in this state and over the last 7 years I have seen too many of these giant oaks of Wales failing. This tree after all is/was the largest girth oak of Offas Dyke monument (& path). And was the second largest girth Oak tree in the whole of Wales.


Belgian tree hunter Marc Meyer helped to re-measure the girth of the standing section of the great tree. More photogrpahs can be viewed on Flickr, link above or Here> FLICKR 

What can you do to help the ancient trees of Wales?                               Want to learn more about the Buttington Oak
Visit the Welsh Govt's consultation webpage below.                                          and many more ancient trees of Wales?                                 

         Img-WAG3                                                          Img-ArchiesBk3

               PLEASE DO COMMENT TODAY                                                                    Read about the BUTTINGTON OAK
     AS CONSULTATION CLOSES 30th SEPT. 2017                                                    in Archie Miles' wonderful book
Q's 4 & 10 specifically address trees and ancient trees.                                 Heritage Trees Wales - Click book to buy

PRESS STATEMENT 29th Sept. 2017 
Tree hunter Rob McBride, co-founder & Director of Trespect CIC has recently discovered that the largest tree on Offas Dyke has significantly collapsed. The massive, eleven metre girth oak tree, which experts say is between 800 to 900 years old, is situated close to the River Severn at Buttington near Welshpool and has now split in two in around May of this year it has been revealed.


The tree, a pollarded oak, is also the second largest oak tree by girth in Wales, and was only discovered in 2009 by an ancient tree hunt recorder after she waded the river to get to it. The Buttington oak’s demise follows on from the toppling over of the Pontfadog Oak in April 2013, an event that shocked many folks from around the world. In February 2010 we saw the ten metre girth, Oak at the Gate of the dead at Castle Mill, near Chirk Castle also split in two. This recent sad event now makes this the third, truly ancient oak tree in Wales to fail in recent years.

“Something must be done now to protect these culturally significant heritage trees before we lose any more”says Mr. McBride. “Simple, low cost solutions could have been found for all of these fallen giants mentioned. Pollarded trees are ones that man has cut and worked for many hundreds of years. They are not if you like, ‘natural trees’ so we have a continued duty to work on these for their lasting protection”.

Mr McBride believes that the Buttington oak should have been properly assessed by a suitable ancient tree expert, and perhaps a reduction to the crown to the west of the tree carried out, a sensible root protection zone set out and even perhaps some form of propping installed to prevent this failure. The area where the tree grows is regularly flooded but this year it experienced a very dry Winter & Spring. The land is farmed for arable crops with animal grazing in other years. The great oak tree featured in Archie Miles’ book Heritage Trees Wales.

On February 23rd 2016 the Brimmon Oak was granted a stay of execution when the Welsh Govt. came down in favour of moving the Newtown bypass over by fifteen metres - at no extra cost in the design stage - respecting professional advice and current British Standards. It seems we can do the right thing when helped in the right direction by concerned communities.

For many years myself and other campaigners have fought to get some form of protection for Wales’ truly ancient trees. Mr. McBride has met with AM’s on many occasions and hopes to soon, meet up with Cabinet Secretary for the Environment & Rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths to discuss a way forward for the future of these important cultural gems of the countryside.

Wales has been proactive in recent years in bringing in forward thinking legislation on the environment & well being. Members of the public and organisations can currently comment on how they feel with regards to the future of Wales’ natural environment. You have until the 30th of September, when the deadline for comments ends, with regards to the Welsh Asembly Govt’s consultation paper, ‘Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources’. (SMNR).

                                            PLEASE DO COMMENT TODAY AS CONSULTATION CLOSES 30th SEPT. 2017
                                                       Questions 10 & 40 specifically address trees and ancient trees.




Mr. McBride also said “We urgently need what I like to call a ‘soft brush’ protection system. A system that is not too onerous on the tree owner whilst at the same time affording proper protection to the tree. Moreover, correct technical advice and funding options that enable the trees to be managed appropriately” He continues. “It need not cost the earth to provide this system or its outputs. Money maybe tight in recent years, but do we really want to keep losing our amazing shared arboreal heritage for what is essentially, small amounts of funding”?

He understands and appreciates that any system must take into account the many stake holders views, including land owners who are nervous of more onerous bureaucracy but who also feel that they need professional advice and guidance.


To sustain the lives of ancient and other veteran trees, it is vital that the trees and land around them are properly cared for by their owners, and by the arboriculturists and others managing them. Veteran trees present a unique set of management challenges which differ from conventional arboriculture. “I would urge those who own or care for the oldest and most special trees in Wales to seek advice from specialists in veteran tree care” says Rob McBride. “Guidance and training on the management of veteran trees is available from the Ancient Tree Forum, a charity which was set up by some of the most respected tree professionals in the world”.

The recently formed Treespect CIC not-for-profit organisation aims to engage and work with communities in order to enable them to forge closer relationships with their trees.

© Rob McBride 2017 All Rights Reserved

Treespect CIC (not for Profit)
… aims to engage and work with communities in order to enable them to forge closer relationships with their trees.  https://treespectblog.wordpress.com/

Tree Hunter Rob McBride
 A passionate Tree hunter and campaigner for ancient trees of the UK & Europe....
07184526077 01691-622837
http://www.treehunter.co.uk/ @thetreehunter bazmcbride@hotmail.com