Sustainable Forestry in spotlight at the Botanics

One Oak Project

The life and story of a 220-year-old oak tree is to be the focus of a family event at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) this weekend (15 - 16 Jan) which aims to promote sustainable forestry.

Staff from Forest Research and Sylva Foundation will be on hand to talk about the OneOak Project which aims to enlighten people about growing trees for wood by following the story of one oak tree.

OneOak is an education project of the Sylva Foundation. Its primary aim is to increase understanding of sustainable forestry by working directly with school children and families and through other channels such as the event at the Botanics on Saturday and Sunday (15 & 16 January). It will be held in the Real Life Science Studio at the John Hope Gateway from 12.30pm to 3.30pm both days. Admission is free.

Amy McDonald, Public Programmes Manager at RBGE said: “2011 is the International Year of Forests so it is extremely appropriate that the OneOak Project event will be held here at the Botanics.  We are delighted that our visitors will be able to enjoy films, art and science activities in our Real Life Science Studio this weekend.’’

A mature oak tree that had grown in a plantation on the Blenheim Palace estate in Oxfordshire was chosen for the project. Its felling in January last year was witnessed by 400 people including 250 children.

The OneOak tree has become one of Britain's most studied trees. It is known that it was 222 years old when felled. It has also become the focus of some stunning tree art.

Sylva Foundation's Dr Gabriel Hemery added: "We are delighted to be able to tell some of the wonderful stories behind Britain's most studied oak tree to the public with the help of RGBE, together with scientists from our partners Forest Research."

For the next, year dozens of crafts people and others will be using the wood from the OneOak tree. They will be creating buildings, making furniture and other beautiful wooden objects, producing essential everyday items, and creating heat and energy.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)