Sir Philip Pullman plants Jubilee Oak Tree at Larkins Lane Field

Last Friday, Sir Philip Pullman planted an Oak Tree at Larkins Lane for the Queen's Green Canopy with the help of pupils at St. Andrew’s School, Headington

Larkins Lane is the latest green space in Oxford Preservation Trust’s care, bought to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier in the year.  OPT has a long history of planting trees for royal events, beginning in 1937 when, at 2.30 pm on 25 November, OPT celebrated the coronation of King George VI by planting the avenue of fastigiate hornbeams which grow along Sunderland Avenue, which have become immortalised by Philip Pullman and Lyra in the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy.   In 2012, the author accepted the invitation to plant one of the six OPT oak trees for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which now grow tall along the northern side of the Marston Ferry Link Road.  One for each decade of the Queen’s reign, they were planted at 2.30 pm on 25 November.

And so to 2.30pm on 25 November 2022 when Sir Philip continued the tradition by planting OPT’s Platinum Jubilee Oak at Larkins Lane.   With clear blue skies overhead, the author, who loves trees, brought his own special magic as he chatted with the Year 6 Writing Group from St. Andrew’s School many of whom had brought their books along for him to sign. Over tea and chocolate cake OPT welcomed the local community, volunteers, and supporters who had played their part in making all this happen. Thanks also go to Land agents Savills, and landscape specialist, Nicholsons.

Debbie: As we approach our own centenary in 2027, we hope the Queen’s Oak will help make this new green space a special place for Oxford people for hundreds of years. Thank you to everyone for their contributions, and especially to Sir Philip for his special part in OPT’s history of planting trees.

Support OPT and the Queen’s Green Canopy by donating or joining as a member today.