The Friends of Richmond Park has launched Year of the Tree, a year-long conservation campaign to help protect and enhance the park’s 130,000 trees.
At the launch, artwork of the iconic ancient Royal Oak tree by acclaimed artist Mark Frith, was unveiled. The original artwork was sketched exclusively in pencil and took three months to draw. To celebrate and raise funds for the conservation campaign, a limited edition of 100 prints is available to buy.
The Royal Oak tree in Richmond Park is estimated to be over 600 years old and is a favourite of Rolling Stones frontman, Mick Jagger. The tree has huge biodiversity value due to its decaying wood that a number of invertebrates feed off, including the endangered Stag beetle.
The Friends has pledged to contribute up to £100,000 to conservation projects during 2020. This includes the planting of trees, including fruit, hawthorn, blackthorn and future veteran trees, and the modification of the current park nursery to enable growing of young trees and seedlings. The park currently has 1400 veteran trees, 900 of which are oak.