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Grantham Oak preservation efforts under scrutiny after five-year decline

Protection measures around a 400-year-old oak tree have been criticised after deteriorating in just five years.

In 2019, a protective surface was installed under the grand oak on Grantham’s Belton Lane due to concerns about root damage from nearby vehicles.

Posts and rope were also installed under the canopy to provide a protection zone.

The protections around the old Oak tree have weathered. | Image: Sylvia Potts
The protections around the old Oak tree have weathered. | Image: Sylvia Potts

However, after five years, concerns persist about the improvements' longevity and the tree's well-being.

Photographs show the fence and surrounding ground in a dilapidated state.

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Resident Sylvia Potts, expressing disappointment, highlighted a deterioration of the enhancements, suggesting they have not aged well.

“There was quite a decent amount of money spent on this commendable project but as you can see, it has not weathered well and looks much worse now than before all these improvements had taken place which is a shame,” she said.

She suggested replacing wooden poles with beach ball-sized rocks for a natural look.

The Woodland Trust and South Kesteven District Council originally installed the measures.

New protection measures were installed in 2019.
New protection measures were installed in 2019.

The Woodland Trust acknowledged the importance of the Grantham Oak but said that while the fence posts had naturally weathered, they continue to monitor the tree's health and encourage residents to report any damage.

A Woodland Trust spokesperson said: “The Grantham Oak is a living legend and a source of pride for the town.

“The Woodland Trust has worked with South Kesteven District Council and partners to safeguard the Oak by fencing off the area needed to protect its roots and ensure it will thrive for centuries to come.

“We continue to monitor the health of the Oak and are glad that so many Grantham residents care about its wellbeing.

“The fence posts have naturally weathered and may likely be subject to some form of damage over their lifetime.

Grantham Oak, Belton Lane, Grantham
Grantham Oak, Belton Lane, Grantham

“We encourage residents to speak to the council about its management and report any damaged posts."

SKDC, on the other hand, acknowledged the recent damage to the wooden fence posts and said there was a proactive approach in assessing maintenance strategies to preserve the area beneath the Oak.

A spokesperson for SKDC said: "The council is aware of the condition of the area surrounding the Grantham Oak, which has suffered recent damage to the wooden fence posts.

"Our staff are visiting Belton Lane to assess a way forward to better maintain the space beneath the oak to preserve the long-term health of this landmark tree."

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