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Calderstones Park’s ‘1000 year old’ Allerton Oak named England’s Tree of the Year

Written by Rachael Norris, 23rd October 2019

The Allerton Oak, May 2019

Nestled deep in Calderstones Park is one of the must-see landmarks of the local area, the Allerton Oak, rumoured to be 1000 years old and whose boughs once shaded a medieval court.

Alongside looking after the Mansion House and the Calder Stones as part of a 125-year lease from Liverpool City Council, The Reader has brought together 5000 years of local history within The Calderstones Story exhibition, that tells the story of life in Liverpool beginning in the late Stone Age, and includes what we know about England's Tree of the Year.

In the Woodland Trust's annual competition, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Allerton Oak got 34 per cent of more than 11,000 public votes cast. This means it may get a £1000 Tree Care Award and will now represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year contest starting in February next year.

The Calderstones Story is open seven days a week and in the garden displays the ancient Calder Stones that give the local area its name, inside a purpose-built home. Exhibition rooms inside the Mansion House weave together the life of the Stones, the park and the Mansion, alongside the development of storytelling and literature.

The Famous Old Oak, Calderstone Park. Liverpool.

Archive materials displayed in the Calderstones Story exhibition can also be found online in a new digital archive.

Liverpool City Council has been working with The Mersey Forest on an £80,000 project to look after the Allerton Oak, including creating a new propping mechanism for its ancient boughs that will adapt as the tree continues to grow. It also says it will plant thousands more trees in the coming years. The Woodland Trust believes the tree is 'conservatively estimated' to be worth over £500,000 - but, like the Calder Stones, it's an invaluable part of local memory.

“The Allerton Oak is a much-loved and cherished tree in the heart of one of our beautiful parks and is hugely popular with visitors," says Laura Robertson-Collins, cabinet member for environment and sustainability at Liverpool County Council. "It is fantastic it has received this recognition and our thanks go to the many people who voted for it. We are determined to make sure it stays healthy for as long as possible, which is why we are about to start work replacing the supports for the tree limbs."

Sanjay Singh, senior programmes manager with People’s Postcode Lottery said: “We’re delighted players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported the Woodland Trust’s search for 2019’s Tree of the Year, a competition highlighting the need to ensure our ancient trees are valued and protected. There were many fascinating entries with incredible stories behind them. The Allerton Oak is a worthy winner steeped in history and intrigue. We wish it well in the European Tree of the Year vote!”

Visit the Calderstones Story exhibition at the Mansion House, Calderstones Park, Monday - Sunday 10am - 4pm.

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